Obituary of Carolyn Ann Johnson
Services for Carolyn Ann Johnson, 78, of Spirit Lake, Iowa, will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, December 17, 2016 at Grace Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake. Interment will be at Lakeview Gardens Cemetery in Spirit Lake. Carolyn Ann (Kauper) Johnson, 78, died late at night on Sunday, December 11, at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was born on August 20, 1938, in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Paul and Anna Kauper. After living briefly in Scarsdale, New York during World War II, she returned to Ann Arbor, where her father was a Professor at Law at the University of Michigan. After graduating from Ann Arbor High School, she attended Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, completing her bachelor's degree in history. She then returned to Ann Arbor and obtained a graduate degree (M.A.) in history from the University of Michigan. In 1961, she worked at a Lutheran refugee center in West Berlin, Germany, where she assisted refugees coming from East Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall. Upon her return to the States, she became a German and history teacher in Bay City, Michigan. While teaching, she met her future husband, James A. Johnson, who was attending the University of Michigan. They were married on June 17, 1972 in Ann Arbor, and then she moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where Jim was on the faculty of the University of South Dakota School of Law. They lived in Vermillion for the next 37 years, where Carolyn had two sons, Eric and Paul. During that time, she worked as a German teacher and secretary in USD's Political Science department. Carolyn was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, P.E.O., and the Vermillion Music Club, serving as Chairman of its Junior Music Festival for 25 years. In 2009, Jim and Carolyn retired to Spirit Lake, Iowa, where they had often vacationed with their boys. Carolyn became a member of Grace Lutheran Church, where she sang in the choir. Throughout her life, Carolyn enjoyed reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and caring for her dogs, most recently Alex and Gizmo. Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Anna Kauper, and her husband, James Johnson. She is survived by her brother Tom (Shirley) Kauper of Ann Arbor, Michigan; her sons, Eric (Nicole) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Paul (Jennifer) of Brookfield, Wisconsin; and her four grandchildren, Emma Salzwedel and Harper Johnson of Sioux Falls and Joshua and Samuel Johnson of Brookfield. Gifts and memorials may be sent to Grace Lutheran Church for the general fund. Turner Jenness Family Funeral Homes of Spirit Lake has been entrusted with the services.