Geri Steffenhagen Johnson

Profile Updated: May 12, 2014
Residing In: Darlington, IN USA
Occupation: Retired
Children: Son, Shawn Johnson Born 1971; Son, Daryl Johnson Born 1977;

After graduation from high school I attended Dr Martin Luther College. Graduated 1967 and was called to teach grades 3-4 at Zion Lutheran School, Morrison WI. During that time my high school sweetheart, Evans Johnson, asked me to marry him. (Yes, I was going to get married, wonder of wonders!) After teaching two years I married him and moved to Lansing MI where my new husband had employment. I couldn’t teach because my degree didn’t come from an accredited college.

I went to work for Spiegel Catalog Order Store where I worked for 7 years until it closed. During that time I had my first son, Shawn who is now 40 years old. He’s single and has a daughter, Gabrielle, who is 11 yrs old. (Wow! That makes me feel really old!)

From there I went to work in the Commercial Construction business. I learned how to read blueprints, estimate materials that were specified by the architect, door, frame and door hardware requirements, and to bid on all types of commercial building projects. I worked for door, frame, and door hardware suppliers and learned carpenter language in dealing with project managers. (Imagine my thoughts when a contractor called and asked for some “butts” for his project!) Within five years I had learned enough to take the 16 hour test to be certified as an Architectural Hardware Consultant. Passing the test on the first try which has a 60% fail rate. I was lucky enough to pass the first try. (That’s a result of my attending college, I think.) Oh yes, by the way, a “butt” is really a door hinge.

While working at a material supplier company I had my second son, Daryl. He is now 34 years old and a Lutheran School teacher at Brillion WI. He attended Michigan Lutheran Seminary and Martin Luther College just like his mother did. He’s married and has 2 boys, Nathan, who is 8 yrs old & Noah, 2 yrs old. (It’s really great being a Grandma.)

My late husband, Evans Johnson, was my high school sweetheart. We were married after I graduated college and taught school for two years. I moved to Lansing MI where we lived for the 36+ years we were married. He worked for the State of Michigan until he retired due to a heart condition. I worked in the construction industry for over twenty years when I had to retire due to Post Polio Syndrome and back problems.

We were great fans of NASCAR racing and in 1993 we opened a racing collectibles store, Dads Race World, in Lansing MI. Evans and I enjoyed the friendships formed and managed to keep it open for 13 years. Sadly, Evans, my dear husband of nearly 37 years, passed away in May, 2006. He died on our oldest son’s birthday, a day that will never be forgotten.

I tried to keep the store open but it was very difficult without Evans. After about a year of struggle I met George on the internet and once we met in person, our fate was set. We got married and I closed the store. We packed up all the remaining stuff from the store and from the home I lived in for 35 years and moved me to Indiana. We now reside in a very small town, Darlington IN. (It is so small it has no mail delivery in town. We have to go to the post office every day to get our mail.) It’s quiet, very quiet.

George and I spend most of our time selling our extra “stuff” on Ebay. It’s fun and keeps us busy. We never know when we will be called to be with our Lord. So we appreciate every day the Lord gives us. (At our age we’re happy to be able to get out of bed in the mornings.)

Sorry we are unable to attend the reunion. I really didn’t get to know everyone very well being a new student in the senior year. However, I hope some of you remember me.

Here's my memory: Imagine my surprise when I found out there was a Gerald Steffenhagen in my class and I had to sit by him in every class that seated by alphabet!!! And we were DISTANT relatives, 2nd or 3rd cousins I think. Sister and brother we were NOT.

I’m looking forward to reading your bios when I get my book. God bless you all, Geri

UPDATE: August 7, 2011
I am single, living in a quaint home in Darlington IN. I keep busy by assisting elderly people to go to appointments, shopping, etc. I am active in my church, organizing the library & Cheer Committee. I custom make all my own greeting cards. You can find me on facebook.
I have another grandson, Noah Evan Johnson, born 6-18-09 to my youngest son, Daryl.
My health is very good after back surgery relieved the leg pain I had been dealing with for several months.
Hopefully I will be able to attend the next reunion. God bless you all.

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May 12, 2014 at 5:07 PM

The photo added was taken April 2014 on our cruise to Hawaii. It was Elegant Dress night at dinner. The man is my new husband, Cecil Haworth.

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Posted: May 12, 2014 at 5:03 PM