July 9, 1923 - May 21, 2013
Resided in Lakewood, CO
Louisa Irene Eggers was born in Dolores, Colorado, the third child of Carrie Ethel Snyder and Charles Antone Eggers. Mary Rose and Charles Frank were her older siblings. Her father died while she was an infant, leaving her mother a widow with three small children. She spent much of her childhood sheltered in the love of her grandparents, Hank and Carrie Snyder, and favorite aunts and uncles who lived in the area. Her mother married Frank Barrett when Louisa was 7 years old. Joan and Bill, Frank's children, became her new sister and brother. Her baby brother Michael Henry was born when she was nine.
Louisa grew up in the small southwestern Colorado town of Dove Creek, situated near the border between Cortez, Colorado and Monticello, Utah. Dove Creek has a view of mountains in all directions, and Louisa often commented that she had always lived in view of mountains and felt comforted by them. She was active in the Baptist Church, attended Dove Creek High School and was a member of the basketball team there.
She met her first husband, James Pedder Bishop (Jim, Jimmy), in 1940. She graduated from high school early, and they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 22, 1941, accompanied by her mother and his sister. Jim was working as a journeyman electrician in Trona, California and couldn't get much time off—so Las Vegas was a good "halfway" point. They took up housekeeping in Trona, California, where they resided until 1952. Jim was active in the Masons, and he and Louisa both were members of the Searles Lake Chapter of Eastern Star. She remained a member in good standing until her death. Many long-term friendships were established during those years.
The story has been told that Louisa nearly scared Jimmy to death when she told him she wanted at least a dozen children. During their time in Trona, Pamella Kay (Pammie) was born to them, on August 28, 1944. A difficult birth resulted in Pammie having cerebral palsy. Jim took a new job in the Los Angeles area, where Pammie could also get the special schooling she needed. Shortly after moving to El Monte, California, Donna Louise was born. Nine years difference in age didn't make a lot of difference to them. Pammie had her baby sister and Donna had a mentor—they were friends. Louisa was devastated when Pammie died in August 1958 from complications following surgery.
Jim, now a consulting electrical engineer, accepted a new job in October 1959, and the small family moved to South Dakota, where he worked on the Titan Missile projects for the U.S. Air Force. That was followed by subsequent moves back to California and to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where Jim worked on fast-core reactors for the Atomic Energy Commission. While living in New Mexico, Louisa worked for Los Alamos Labs, a major contractor for the AEC.
The family moved back to California in August of 1966. Jim died of cancer on May 16, 1967. They had been married for 26 years. Louisa's brothers were both living in the Denver area and suggested it was time for her to come home to Colorado.
Louisa bought a home near Westminster. That home offered a haven for teens, friends, and family. When Frank Barrett died in 1969, her mother, Ethel (Granny), came to live with Louisa and Donna. Granny lived with Louisa for much of the rest of her life.
Louisa also went back to school—Barnes School of Business. Near the end of her coursework, she was offered a position with Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Company as office manager. She retired from that position in 1984.
Louisa's "baby" brother Michael and his wife Barbara lived across the street from a very nice widower who had recently retired. They thought the two should meet, and the rest is family history. Doyle Clifford Johnson and Louisa were married on January 14, 1983 at Advent Lutheran Church in Westminster, Colorado. They drew all their various members together, and we became a FAMILY.
Through this union Louisa now had a new son, John, and a new daughter, Wendy ["all those kids across the street that I grew up with are now my cousins!"]. John already had two small children, Wes and Stacy, from his first marriage. Donna had Michael and added Meghan, and Wendy soon married Thomas Ward and contributed Heather and Shawn. Thomas also brought Dominique, Jason, and Danielle into the family. Louisa's small family was growing by leaps and bounds and she welcomed them all with open arms. John's marriage to Karen Ruel, brought two more grandsons, Kevin and Tim, into the family. More marriages and great-grandchildren Alexis, Avery, Logan, Luke, Payton, Jensen, Rope, Raef, Paige, Reese, Brianna, Maya and Andrew kept fueling the light in her life.
Doyle and Louisa had many happy journeys together—literally and figuratively. They traveled to mainland Europe, England, Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, California, Arizona and more. They enjoyed being active members in their church and in Advent Lutheran's XYZ (Xtra Years of Zest) group, participating in cookouts, campouts, and various other outings and community events. In recent years, they visited Doyle's childhood home in Nebraska and the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.
They watched their well-blended family grow with marriages and births, and counted themselves blessed. They have spent the last several years in retirement at the Inn at Atria in Lakewood, Colorado. Doyle still resides there.
Louisa spent Mother's Day morning at a brunch with her family. That afternoon she fell, breaking her femur above the knee. She had surgery to repair it, but complications arose and she died on May 21, 2013 at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, surrounded by her family. The hospital staff described the room as being "filled with love and light." Her death reflected her life--filled with love and light amid the hardships and heartaches.
Louisa loved her family more than anything else in the world. She loved holding and hugging babies best of all. She was a wonderful cook and was at her happiest when surrounded by family and providing a feast of old-fashioned home cooking for all to share. She loved hard and never let go. She was a strong Christian who lived her Christian values every day.
Louisa is survived by her:
Husband: Doyle Clifford Johnson.Children: Donna Louise Bishop Collins, Wendy Jean Johnson Ward, and John Howard Johnson (spouse Karen Ruel Johnson).
Grandchildren: Wes Johnson (and Lee Wah Lim), Stacy Johnson Finney (and Chris Finney), Michael Patrick Collins, Meghan Louise Collins, Heather Marie Ward, Shawn Nicholas Doyle Ward, Kevin Ruel, Tim Ruel (and Karen Ruel), Dominique Theresa Ward Wilson (and Michael Wilson), Jason Thomas Ward (and DeAnne Winey-Ward), and Danielle Kristin Ward.
Great Grandchildren: Alexis and Avery Johnson; Logan and Luke Finney; Payton, Rope, Jensen, and Raef Ruel; Maya and Andrew Ward; and Paige, Reese and Brianna Wilson. Siblings: Michael Barrett, Joan Dunbar.Sisters-in-law: Barbara Barrett and Obera Eggers. And lots and lots of nieces and nephews and others that she loved like her own children.
A Visitation will be held on Friday, May 31, 12:00 to 2:00 PM with a Funeral Service to follow at 2:00 PM at Advent Lutheran Church, 7979 Meade St., Westminster, CO 80030. Burial will be held on Monday, June 3, 2:00 PM, Fort Logan National Cemetery, Staging Area "A," 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80235.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
455 Sherman St. #500
Denver, CO 80203.
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