Dec 24th 1983 - Jun 9th 2012
Lindsey Johnson was a loving and caring daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. She was bubbly and full of life, sassy and sometimes a pain. But the next minute she was ready to embrace the world, so watch out for those big bear hugs. In other words, “she was a good girl with attitude.” She lit up the lives of everyone who knew her, and to her family, Lindsey was who she said she was, “I’m special.”
In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Lindsey came into the world on Christmas Eve, weighing just 5 pounds, 3 ounces and looking like “a little baby doll.” This sweet bundle of joy was born with a hole in her heart, and the complications that followed made life a challenge. Yet her magnanimous spirit and bright personality let her family experience what it means to love and be loved.
As a toddler, Lindsey’s walking and speech were delayed, so it was little wonder that she was at times frustrated. Because she couldn’t communicate verbally, she “spoke with her face,” and those around her learned to read her expressions.
When Lindsey was 3 years old, tests revealed that she could best be served by the Van Buren Intermediated School District. Though there was a period of adjustment for her, Lindsey really enjoyed Van Buren and sometimes even visited on her days off. She received specialized instruction through to her graduation at age 26, the maximum number of years that she could be a student before living semi-independently.
Lindsey was a people person and eager to be out in the world. She had always wanted to work at Pizza Hut or other fast food restaurants, so she called often to ask if they were hiring. She volunteered at Bronson Rehab Nursing Home in Lawton and found that she liked helping people. Being especially fond of babies, Lindsey offered “free babysitting” and was always ready to lend a hand. She cooked and cleaned with her mom in the home where she lived, and her dad helped her flip eggs in the morning. Life was especially good for Lindsey when she got to go bowling, camping or fishing with her dad.
Lindsey was the darling of her family, and they admit to spoiling her. She was as rough-and-tumble as her brothers, all of whom she called “Bubba.” She bragged about her family and cared about what happened to them. One time, she was so concerned about her dad’s smoking that she told him, ”You’re going to die.” She was ready to call the doctor to get him some help.
Lindsey’s loving spirit was evident when her brother Tim passed away. She would go to the cemetery every other week and talk with him, telling him what was going on with the family. Just recently, when she got a pet Cocker Spaniel, she had to stop at the cemetery to ask Tim if she could name the puppy T.J. Her compassion was amazing.
Lindsey was active in school and outside the classroom. At school, she played “Polly Hockey” and was elected prom queen, tiara and all. She competed in the fast walk at Special Olympics and was a member of the first Special Education Girl Scout Troop.
Being the social butterfly that she was, Lindsey phoned her family every day, ”Just calling to see how you’re doing.” She texted or typed “Hi” to all her friends on Facebook. She drove a golf cart around the neighborhood and took people for rides (and before that she took the tractor). If Lindsey was ever angry, everyone knew it, but she was never sad. Most often she went through life laughing and giggling.
If she wasn’t around other people, Lindsey could often be found listening to music in her room with the volume on LOUD. Being an Elvis fan, she knew everything about him and his songs and about nearly every country music song. Listening to a song on the car radio, she would sing along and fist pump to the music (even out the sunroof). It shouldn’t be too surprising that Lindsey’s favorite movie was Dirty Dancing, with plenty of song and dance.
Lindsey liked to travel, especially when it came to flying. She routinely had a suitcase packed and ready for the next trip. When she went to the casino and won the slots, she certainly let everyone know.
Lots of people knew and loved Lindsey. They are saddened by her unexpectedly death at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. Her family and friends will mourn her deeply and remember all the things that truly made Lindsey special.
Lindsey’s beloved family includes her parents, Gail and Marion Johnson; 1 sister, Robin Hendrixson; 5 brothers, Bill (Belinda) Wellington, Elwood (Julie) Johnson, Wayne (Belinda J.) Johnson, Heath (Jennifer) Johnson, and Jessie (Shyila) Clugston; her maternal grandfather, Robert Raven; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephew, cousin and many loving friends. She was preceded in death by her brother Tim Johnson. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family.