Lifetime La Plata County resident Norma Newbold Johnson died of cancer Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in the home built by her husband. She had turned 84 three weeks earlier.
Mrs. Johnson was born to Benjamin Turner and Gladys Katherine McIntyre (Osborn) Newbold on Jan. 22, 1929, on her family’s homestead near Marvel. She attended a nearby one-room school through the 10th grade. To enable her to finish high school, her family rented an apartment on East Fourth Avenue in Durango. The apartment house was owned by her future mother-in-law, Mary Arnott Johnson.
After her future husband, Robert A. Johnson, returned from World War II, the couple met, and he invited her to her senior prom. Mrs. Johnson graduated from Durango High School in 1947, and they married Sept. 13, 1947, at the First Methodist Church in Durango.
Mrs. Johnson was a mother and homemaker until her youngest child started first grade, and then she started working as a bookkeeper at the Livestock Auction and at Basin Co-op, later becoming a loan officer at Durango Savings & Loan. She subsequently became a Realtor. Mrs. Johnson also served as an officer of the Real Estate Ethics Board of Commissioners.
Her family said she loved to tell the story of how she listed and sold all the properties at the corner of Main Avenue and 32nd Street so north City Market could be built.
The Johnsons spent many hours supporting their children and grandchildren’s interests. They also enjoyed trap shooting and were avid competitors.
Mrs. Johnson retired from real estate when her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1994. She then ran and later sold the family business, Cottonwood Camper Park. She had been retired since 2006.
Mrs. Johnson was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Robert A. Johnson.
She is survived by her children Robert A. Johnson Jr. and James L. Johnson, both of Durango, and Diane E. Johnson Hollingsworth of McKinney, Texas; brother Jack Newbold of Monte Vista; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. today, Feb. 22, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church of Durango, 2917 Aspen Drive. This is a change in time. The Rev. Roger Haney will officiate. A reception will be held afterward, then burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society, 1800 East Third Ave., Suite 101, Durango, CO; or Hospice of Mercy, 1 Mercado St., Suite 270, Durango, CO 81301.