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Life Story / Obituary
Ann M. Deering Johnson died, cozy at home, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, November 27, 2022. She was born August 25, 1941 to Ed and Alida Deering. She grew up in Parchment, Michigan with six siblings. Her favorite place to play was the Russell Turkey farm with her childhood friend, Ricky. She attended St. Augustine school until 9th grade and went on to graduate from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1959. She attended WMU briefly and then went on to graduate nurses training in 1961. She worked in the delivery room and preemie nursery for 10 years at Borgess Hospital, then became an office nurse for Dr. Richard Mellis for eleven years, up to his heartbreaking death. Her nursing career continued with Dr. Kostin and Dr. Behrje, surgeons at Borgess Medical Center. She worked at West-Side Medical Clinic, where she met her dear friend, Judy Magee.
Ann loved playing baseball in her youth and then golf as a young adult. She played golf in the Kalamazoo city tournament. Her favorite place to hike was the Kalamazoo Nature Center and the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Road trips for hiking was a family adventure that brought experiences in Kansas, Idaho, Oregon, and parts of the East Coast.
Her favorite outings were taking her kids to witness the beauty of nature, even as babies. She would even pull them out of school if it was a sunny day for the beach in South Haven! She also enjoyed celebrating birthdays at Bill Knapps and Bruno’s Pizza. At home, baking cookies, journaling, finding meaningful quotes, and writing for the Kalamazoo Gazette were her spirit-filling hobbies.
Ann set a high standard for so many things. Her children learned so much from her. The importance and love of family. Ambition and dreaming big. Working hard to achieve your goals. Expecting a lot from yourself and others. How to face adversity and change. The love of American Indian history, nature, holidays and birthdays, the beach, gardening, baseball, and golf. Her biggest legacy is her children and grandchildren.
Ann is survived by her loving husband and devoted caretaker, Don (1962); her children: Ann E. Stap (John Stap), Ed Johnson (Sue Johnson), and Marne Apolo (Johnny Apolo); grandchildren: Samantha Hocker (Dan Hocker), Jake Stap, Joey Stap, Nick Johnson (Sarah), Alex Johnson (Morgan), Jack Johnson (Grace), Ellie Johnson, and Ava Apolo; two great-grandchildren: John Henry and Adeline Hocker; her sister’s: Mari, Nyda, and Roza; brother, Joe; cousin-like-a-sister, Janet; and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her dear friends Judy Magee and Marylou Huffling; her sweet collie, and beloved cats. She loved her family with all her heart.
She is preceded in death by her parents: Alida Fickes and Ed Deering; sisters: Cora Molica, Lucy Burns; niece, Melanie Molica; as well as grandparents Van Nus and Deering; aunts: Lee, Connie, Marie; uncles: Fred, Bud, and John; and friends dear to her heart: Larry Huffling and Arlene DeHaan.
There will not be a formal service. In her name, please take a hike, hug a kitty, or support one of her cherished organizations: Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, Kalamazoo Nature Center, and the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary.