Margaret Johnson

Margaret Suzanne Johnson

Tuesday, November 16th, 1948 - Monday, July 13th, 2020
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Margaret Johnson passed away at her home in Alberton, Montana, on July 13, 2020 at the age of 71. She was born Margaret Suzanne Stahl on November 16, 1948 in Butte, Montana. The daughter of Paul Stahl, Jr. and Suzanne (Gilbert) Stahl, she was raised on a small farm outside Dillon, and in her high school years, she, her parents, brother and sister moved into the historic family home in town.

Surviving a serious throat operation when she was two, she blossomed into a strong, vibrant woman. She possessed a striking beauty and was blessed with a soprano voice. She was selected for a role in The King and I and was the first freshman girl ever selected for the exclusive Teen Tones. She continued to sing throughout her life and was in demand for funerals, graduations, weddings and Christmas programs. Born and raised an Episcopalian, she polished her singing in the church. She was an athlete prior to the official existence of girls’ athletics, always outrunning the boys, including her older brother.

She was a leader and head majorette at Beaverhead County High School, the Worthy Advisor of Rainbow Girls and one of two Girls’ State delegates. She graduated 15th in the Class of 1967 and enrolled at the University of Montana to major in Spanish, minor in English and earn a certificate in teaching. She was president of the Alpha Phi sorority.

Margaret was born to be a teacher. Her first, last and only teaching job was in Alberton. She taught English and Spanish in a career spanning more than 40 years. Her children, Rachael and Erik, became English teachers, in part, because of her example. She was a grammarian. In a family of four English teachers, she was the go-to person for all grammar questions. She treated all of her students fairly, and their education was paramount to her. She believed students should follow the rules and encouraged them to do so.

Margaret believed in fairy tales where good always overcomes evil. While teaching, she met and married her Prince Charming, Jim Johnson, a fellow teacher.

Nothing was more important than family; that began with her husband, best friend and first and only love, Jim. She gave her love and strength to her children and then her grandchildren, Samantha, Natalie and Jack. She taught them in school and at home, not just about school subjects, but about those things important to her like equality, empathy, etiquette and hard work. She never missed an athletic event, play or concert if her children or grandchildren participated.

She is survived by husband Jim Johnson of Alberton, daughter Rachael and husband Chris Clevenger of Missoula, son Erik Johnson and wife Josie of Alberton and grandchildren Samantha, Natalie and Jack Clevenger. She is also survived by her younger sister, Jeri Jo and husband Jerry Clark of Spokane and older brother, Paul Stahl, and wife, Judy Morgan of Helena. There are also numerous cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews who survive Margaret’s passing.

Margaret’s influence on this world will endure among her family, friends and students.
Her life is an example of decency, kindness, gentleness, honesty and strength.

Donations may be made to charity of the donor’s choice or the Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131, or the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22202.
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6 trees have been planted in memory of Margaret Suzanne Johnson

Corinna (Mickelson) Dahlin

Posted at 11:54am
Mrs. Johnson inspired learning, allowed independent thinking, radiated positivity, extended love and encouraged all students equally. She was lovely!

3 trees were planted in the memory of Margaret Johnson

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Bruce and Vicky Mix

Posted at 12:42pm
We are thinking of you and remembering Margaret's kindness and sweet smile.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Margaret Johnson — Plant a Tree Now

Corrina Middlestead Stanley

Posted at 06:25pm
Sent with love and remembrance,
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Margaret Johnson — Plant a Tree Now

Corrina Stanley

Posted at 06:12pm
There are so many wonderful memories of Mrs. Johnson as my English and Spanish teacher. She was the type of teacher you wanted to impress. You wanted to hear her kind words and encouragement. I was horrible with Spanish and struggled to make decent grades. We had a major test coming up and I made sure I finished all homework for other classes so I could concentrate only on my Spanish at home. I walked into the class room beaming with confidence. She seen it too. Her beautiful smile as I told her I was going to ace this one. The day she walked in and handed out the test results, she asked me to step out in the hall with her. I failed miserably getting every single answer wrong! She knew I would cry hence for taking me out in the hallway. She explained I got everything backwards. No scolding...just kind words. At my Senior graduation, we asked her to sing Wind Beneath My Wings. And WOW...if you didn't get a tear in your eye from that, you were made of stone. I am very happy to have seen her last year at my daughter's volleyball game. She will always be so beautiful, she will be truly missed. Sending her family my condolences and prayer.

Posted at 01:42pm
My favorite teacher, she had the patience of a saint and never quit on her students no matter how troublesome we were. She was a ray of sunshine to everyone.(Frank Handy)

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