Alice Dagmar Collins was born to John Henry Collins V and Alice Lahti Collins on Sept. 25, 1928 in Red Lodge. During the Great Depression while her father worked on the construction of the Beartooth Highway, they lived in a tent south of Red Lodge. The family lived in more permanent shelter during the winters. Her brother, John Henry Collins VI joined the family seven years later.
The family moved to a farm and ranch near Fox, and Alice attended the Fox School then later graduated from Carbon County High School in Red Lodge. She was a devoted daughter to her mother and was her father’s “right hand man” in caring for livestock and routine farm chores. Alice loved all animals, (with the exception of mice) particularly horses. She rode her horse in many parades.
On Jan. 10, 1949 she married Edwin G. (Gibb) Johnson of Roberts. They made their home on a farm on the West Bench south of Roberts where they farmed, ranched and raised a family. “Babe” and “Gibb” hunted, fished, camped, and went on picnics regularly as they enjoyed family outings. Gibb and Alice retired to Laurel in 1986, where they both enjoyed garage sales, coffee with friends and their home and garden.
Mrs. Johnson was a self-taught seamstress, cake decorator, gardener, (flowers and vegetables), knitter, embroiderer, floral arranger, and wheat weaver among other arts and crafts. Her pies were works of art once she applied her skills to creating a picture in the top crust. She was especially talented in landscape painting in oils. She also used water colors, acrylics, and painted on glass and mirrors. Later in life, she enjoyed designing and teaching others to make pressed flower pictures and rugs and re-purposing various household items into clever crafts. She was a 4-H Leader, a member of the Cowbelles and later, a member of a Laurel garden club. She designed and created hundreds of catnip mice that made many cats happy.
Alice often told others that her greatest accomplishment was her three children. All surviving: Gerald (Kay Joslin) Johnson of Conner, Sally (Dewey Hall) Johnson-Hall of Montana City, and Tom (Kerry) Johnson of Garfield, Wash., as well as two grandsons, Scott Johnson of Helena, and Erik Johnson of Pullman, Wash. Alice was an exceptionally kind and generous soul who was devoted to family. She is also survived by four nieces: Sandra Barker, Carol Wester, Penny Redli, Jenny Still and a nephew, John Collins VII. She is predeceased by her parents, husband and brother.
She had many treasured friends and the personal care assistants whose services enabled her to live her later years in her home all became friends and she loved them all dearly as well. We extend our most heartfelt thanks to all who have assisted and come to the aid of Alice, including EMT’s, Fire, Police, and healthcare professionals.
Cremation has taken place. Alice’s family invite family and friends to a potluck at Kaleva Park (between Roberts and Red Lodge, just north of Fox) on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 2 p.m. to celebrate a life well lived.
Memorials may be made to Finnish Kaleva Park, Inc., 7790 U.S. Hwy. 212, Roberts, MT 59070 or to a charitable organization of your choice.