Kristi Marlene Neilson Johnson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend passed away surrounded by family the morning of September 3rd, 2023.
A very special early Christmas gift from Heaven, Kristi was born to her parents Don and Marlene Neilson on December 19th, 1958, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The first of five children, she was a very precious daughter and a great second mother to her two youngest siblings.
Kristi grew up in both West Valley City, Utah, and Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Granger High School in West Valley (just like all four of her super awesome children, go Lancers!), and married Lawrence Brent Johnson on January 21, 1983. Brent and Kristi then had their four super awesome children, Aaron, Wendy, Joshua, and Holly Johnson. Though Utah was home for Kristi and her family, a big part of her heart always remained in Oregon. She would root for the Oregon Ducks over any Utah team, for sure.
Kristi spent so much of her life helping and serving others. She was a wonderfully gifted piano player and played for all sorts of church functions from a very young age and continued doing so throughout young adulthood. As an adult all her career choices continued in the service of others first as a preschool teacher, then as the director of a domestic violence shelter, and finally as a family coordinator at an early intervention program.
She touched the lives of so many people and had an innate ability to make everyone feel seen and heard. She was the calm in any storm, she offered a comforting presence during times of joy, heartache, or absolute chaos. If you needed anything, even just someone to talk to, you called Kristi. She was the wisest of us and had all the answers, she fixed all the problems and kept us all on track. Kristi was hilarious, was the best at sarcasm, kept all the musical talent in the family to herself, could wreck a car or two with the best of them, loved nothing more than to jump out and scare her children, and had the most beautiful and infectious laughter and smile.
There aren't enough words to explain how amazing Kristi was or how important she was to so many and how absolutely lost we all are without her. She was the glue that held our family together, and what happens when the glue dissolves and goes away? Things can fall apart.
But you can put things back together. They may look different, they may not be as strong, you may need to find other types of glue and even though it will never be the same as it was before, things can mostly be pieced back and made almost whole again. So that's what we'll do. We'll put ourselves back together even though we will never be the same, we will be missing some of our strength, we will forever look different, but we'll figure out some way to become the new glue to hold everything together. It's the least we can do for our Kristi who always held everything together for us.
Kristi is survived by her husband Lawrence Brent Johnson and her four children: Aaron Brent, Wendy Marlene, Joshua Emil, and Holly Margaret Johnson, her parents Don Emil and Marlene Wolsey Neilson, her two most beloved grandchildren Levi Emil and Zoey Irene Johnson, her siblings Bradford McKay (Janet) Neilson, Michael Wade (Lisa) Neilson, Erica Jane (Ronald) Miller, Brian Edward Neilson, and many amazing nieces, nephews, family members, and numerous friends. She was preceded in death by her much loved twin granddaughters, Bria and Mia Johnson, and her niece Julie Roark.
There will be a private family viewing at McDougal Funeral Home on Thursday, September 7th, 2023. A celebration of life, which feels like the best and only way to honor such a funny, wise, and beautiful soul who was loved so immensely to the moon and back, will be held at a later date.