Goldie S. Johnson
Goldie S. Johnson
Goldie S. Johnson, whose Ojibwe name is "Makoons", 95, of Red Lake passed into the spirit world Saturday, Feb 8, 2014, at the Jourdain/Perpich Extended Care Facility in Red Lake. Goldie is a member of Oshkimanisi; Kingfisher Clan.
Traditional Funeral Services will be 11:00 am Saturday, February 15, 2014, at the Ponemah Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah with spiritual leader Steve Jackson. A wake will begin 1: 00 pm on Thursday at the Ponemah Boys and Girls Club and will continue until the time of services. Interment will be at the Family Burial Grounds in Ponemah under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.
Goldie S. Johnson ( Julia ) born Oct. 27, 1918 in Ponemah to John Sigana "Asiginaak" and Edna Bell "Gimiwinaanakwadook". Goldies grandfather was Mikwam, Mr. Iceman. She started her education at the Ponemah Boarding School as Julia Sigana. Her first day at school they changed her name to Goldie as there were several other Julias. For the rest of her life she was known as Goldie. She learned to speak English at school. Her first job was washing dishes for the teachers after the meals; for a dime a day at the Ponemah School.
She then attended Red Lake Boarding School and graduated from Red Lake High School. After graduation she became a teachers aide at the Ponemah School. She then went on to become a housemaid for a couple who were instructors at the University of Minnesota. They encouraged her to attend a school of higher learning. She enrolled at Bemidji State Teachers College; earning a two-year Teaching Certificate. She then went on to teach at Ponsford Grade School until World War II started. During the war, she and her best friend, Margaret Brockhagen, went to the West Coast and earned Welding Certificates. She was a Journeyman Welder for the war effort. She came back home near the end of the war to care for a sister. As the war ended, she married Everett Levi Johnson; and worked as a teacher at Ponemah School. While in Ponemah, her first child Julia was taken home early in the pregnancy. She then gave birth to Everett Levi "Paint" Johnson, Jr. The family then moved to Ball Club where she and her husband taught school. She gave birth to Michael Gene Johnson during this time. The family then moved to Grand Portage where she and her husband Levi, taught school at the only log school building in the state at that time. After four years, they then moved with the family to Fort Totten, North Dakota; where they taught school. During summers off, they both attended school earning their four-year Bachelors degrees. Levi earned his Masters; and Goldie earned a four-year degree from University of North Dakota, with further schooling just short of a Masters. After 21 years in Fort Totten, they then moved back to Red Lake, Minnesota. Goldie was the founder and director of the Red Lake Drug Abuse Program. In retirement she would substitute teach at the school in Red Lake but only for a short time. She enjoyed retirement, traveling with her husband throughout the United States. Goldie served on numerous committees for the Red Lake Tribal Council and the Red Lake Public Schools.
Goldie is a Fifth Generation Direct Descendant of Chief Wiishkob. Chief Wiishkob was a primary chief for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Her Hobbies were fishing, quilting, being an avid reader and learner, going to the casino and playing Bingo and slots. During this time a young man, Marcus Tyler asked her to teach him the Ojibwe language. With his notebook in hand, he spent many days with her learning Ojibwe. She was very proud of her student who now teaches Ojibwe.
She is survived by: sons- Everett Levi "Paint" (Roberta) Johnson, Jr. and Michael Gene (Karen) Johnson and numerous grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband- Everett Levi Johnson and a baby girl- Julia, and siblings- Bessie Sigana Blakely, Jessie Sigana Kingbird, Andrew Sigana, Helen Sigana Cloud, Lee Sigana, Margaret Sigana, Roman Sigana and Daisy Raincloud.
Casketbearers are: John Sigana, Jr., Marcus Tyler, Keegan Wilmes, Bruce Dow, Jr., Brad Johnson, Jr., Roger Cloud, Brandon Cloud, James Cloud, Jr., with alternates -Marcus Juarez and Hunter Wilmes.
Honorary CasketBearers are: Edna Johnson, Ruth Fevig, Alverda "Babe" Strong, Rose Morgan, Delores Cloud Hammitt, Ester Cloud, Vickie Johnson, Donna Dow, Virginia Spears, Andrea St. John, Elizabeth Kingbird, Rudy Johnson, Dan Johnson, Eugene Johnson, Russell Cloud, Ralph Cloud and the Jourdain Perpich Nursing Home Staff. Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.