Leila Pauline Johnson passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter Dale Sharon Gunther of Kansas City, Missouri on June 29, 2021 at the age of 101. She was surrounded by her children. Leila was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 22, 1920, daughter of Dales and Gladys Wilson. She had two brothers, Dale Kenneth Wilson and C. Richard Wilson who preceded her in death. Leila went to State High School in Kalamazoo where she was an honor student and met her future husband Ken, graduating in 1938. She attended Western Michigan University from 1939 to 1941. During WWII Leila was a switchboard operator. She married Ken Johnson September 12, 1941 in Kalamazoo and had 4 children between 1942 and 1947.
The family moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 1950. Leila was a wonderful stay at home mom, seamstress, teacher, caregiver and much more. She was an active award-winning charter member of the Longview Acres Garden Club. She was a beloved active member of the Pittsburgh North Hills Community of Christ Church where she loved serving the Lord in many capacities. She was active in organizing parties in our close-knit neighborhood on Remington Drive. She loved to return to vacation in Michigan yearly.
Some fun facts about Leila: In her mid 40’s: When water skis were not available on South Manitou Island, MI, Leila water skied on an ironing board pulled by her adventurous father-in-law George Johnson; 50’s: Leila learned to belly dance and took a class on being a clown. She loved math and worked for H & R Block. 60’s-80’s: Leila and Ken traveled extensively through 49 states and wintered in Gulf Shores, AL for 22 years with many
friends; 80’s-100+: Leila enjoyed playing various card games and bingo, but especially loved Scrabble. Leila played Scrabble daily and often won even a few days before her 101st birthday.
Ken and Leila were married for 69 years. Ken preceded her in death in 2010. Leila is survived by her son, Keith Richard Johnson (Sue) of Fullerton, CA and daughters, Carol Moffet, Clarksville, TN, Eileen See of Kalamazoo, MI and Dale Sharon Gunther, Kansas City, MO.
Leila is survived by 10 grandchildren, Jeff Johnson, Long Beach CA, Julianna Johnson, Riverside, CA, Jeralynn Yanes (Luis), Fullerton, CA, Todd Moffet (Jana), Clarksville, TN, Lori Moffet, Charlotte, NC, Angel Day, Allegan, MI, Michael See, Kalamazoo, MI, Jason See, El Centro, CA, Matthew Gunther (Tara), Pittsburgh, PA, and Gretchen Gunther Stich (Jonathan), Renton, WA.
Leila was preceded in death by grandsons Kenneth Ray Johnson and Christopher Michael Johnson.
Leila is survived by 14 great-grandchildren: Leila Nadine Johnson, CA, Gillian Johnson, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Addison and Owen Moffet, Clarksville, TN, Nyasia Eubanks, Malala , Kamala, Charlene and Ella Hudson, Charlotte, NC, Dakota, Cameron and Caleb Day, Allegan, MI, Abigail and Kenneth Gunther, Pittsburgh, PA and numerous nieces and nephews and step-grandchildren.
A private family service at McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Plainwell, MI and burial in Hillside Cemetery, Plainwell, MI will be held on July 9, 2021. A future celebration of Leila’s life will be held in Southwest Michigan in the summer of 2022.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to your favorite charity in her honor.
The family is being assisted by McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Marshall - Gren Chapel, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell, MI 49080. www.mccowensecord.com. (269)685-5881.