Life Story / Obituary
With a journey that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Marsha Johnson lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was completely devoted to her family, and she treasured each and every moment they had to spend together. As her family and friends can attest, Marsha was an amazing cook with a spirit of generosity that never ran dry. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
At the end of WWII in 1945, our nation began making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. Rationing had become a thing of the past, and with the return of countless servicemen and women the baby boom was underway. Amidst this transitional time was a time of great celebration in the lives of John and Gloria Rosendall as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as September unfolded in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1949. The big day finally arrived on September 17th when the baby girl they named Marsha drew her first breath. Raised on the Northeast side of the city, she was one of three Rosendall children as she was joined in her family by her sisters, Marlene and Dianne. To support his family, Marsha’s father owned a rubbish company and later went into the heating and cooling business while her mother worked as a nurse’s aid. In many ways she experienced an upbringing that was typical for the young girls of her generation. Marsha attended local schools and was fairly shy.
As a young woman, Marsha was eager for all that life had in store. She was married for a time, and through that marriage she was blessed beyond measure with the birth of her daughter, Jennifer. Marsha spent her career working in service to those in her community. She initially worked for the City of Grand Rapids, and she later worked as a section eight leader for the housing commission.
Throughout her life, Marsha was always busy. She loved spending time with her family, especially when it was family game night. Although she didn’t travel much, Marsha did love the time she went to Cedar Point with her sisters, Marlene and Dianne, and family friends, Jackie and Shirley. Holidays and birthdays were usually times that they gathered as a family, which were some of Marsha’s favorite times. A family woman through and through, she truly loved visiting with her nieces and nephews as well as her great nieces and nephews later in life. Marsha liked cooking for all of these events, which was something that her family truly appreciated. Even though she enjoyed cooking, Marsha did like to go out to fine dining restaurants. She also loved sushi. Marsha was a member of Dutton United Reformed Church, and when asked just a few weeks ago if she put her faith in Jesus, Marsha was quick to answer that she had, of course. She had a special place in her heart for animals of all kinds, especially dogs. Marsha frequented the dog park where she also loved talking to other dog owners. She enjoyed feeding squirrels and even taught her niece how to get a squirrel to climb up her leg to grab a peanut right from her hand. To keep her mind sharp, Marsha loved reading, especially books about the Puritans. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles and word games like Boggle. When it came to music, Marsha was a fan of Iris DeMent.
All who knew Marsha Johnson would agree that she was truly one of a kind. She could be impatient at times, but she was so generous and empathetic as well. Marsha loved to laugh and was known for her dry sense of humor. “Shoulda, woulda, coulda,” was her favorite saying, which was always said with a clever sparkle in her eye. Deeply loved, Marsha will be forever missed.
JOHNSON – Ms. Marsha M. Johnson aged 68, of Grand Rapids, passed away on October 2, 2017. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Gloria Rosendall; and niece, Brenda Vandersloot. Marsha is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Johnson; sisters, Marlene (Dave) Vandersloot and Dianne (Daniel) Olson; nieces and nephews, Matthew (Kim) Vandersloot, Erin Reeves, Brandon Vandersloot, Darryl (Holly) Vandersloot, and Alexandria Olson; and special great-nieces and nephews, Cassidy, Noah, Kambrie, Ben, Walker, Addyson, Lilly, Mya, and Makayla. The Funeral Service will be held at 1 PM on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family from 6-8 PM on Thursday and on Friday for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Contributions in her memory may be made to West Michigan Humane Society. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Marsha’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.