We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Aitkin
Elma Linnea (Chelmen) Johnson of Aitkin, Minnesota, died peacefully on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at the age of 99 ½ years. Elma who lived independently in her own home until March of 2022, died at Aicota Health Care Center after experiencing health issues. She was born at home in Lac Qui Parle County, MN, November 10, 1922. Elma had a varied and interesting life. During World War II, she worked at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Seattle, WA. When the war ended, and the men came back to work, Elma worked as a secretary at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis. It was there she met Arne Johnson. They married in 1950 and had five children. Elma’s work after marriage was homemaking, childrearing, being a store clerk at the Aitkin Ben Franklin store, and serving many years as the organist at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Her hobbies were knitting and hardanger embroidery. She was an avid reader and taught all of her children to love books. Those who know Elma, speak of her as a woman of strong Christian faith and an ability to connect with and care about people of all ages and situations. Up until her illness in March, she served as the head of the Prayer Shawl and the Prayer Chain ministries at First Lutheran Church of Aitkin. She was a counselor and friend to families in the LGBTQ community and an active presence at Sunday worship. She was preceded in death by her husband Arnold (Arne) Johnson, parents Rev. R.S. Chelmen and Mable (Wigen) Chelmen, an infant son, her son Randy Johnson, her brother C. Kenneth Chelmen and her sister Regina Swedberg.
Elma is survived by her children: Linda (D.Jensen Seyenkulo)Johnson Seyenkulo of Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa; Rodney (Carol) Johnson of New Holstein, WI; Laurel Johnson of Bloomfield, NE; five grandchildren: Sarah (Aaron) Tessaro; Abby (Mark Thierman) Johnson, Apu Seyenkulo, Kenata Seyenkulo, Yongor Linnea Seyenkulo; three great-grandchildren: Corinne Tessaro, Alix Johnson, Quinn Thierman; her sister-in-law Ardelle Chelmen; and several nieces and nephews.
Elma’s last line on phone conversations is one she leaves as a parting remark in her death: “Know you are loved.”
Funeral Service for Elma will be 1:00pm - Friday, July 15 at First Lutheran Church, Aitkin. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Private burial will be in Dorris Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be given to First Lutheran Church, Aitkin, or the Lutheran Church in Liberia L.I.F.E Liberia Agricultural project. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com