Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Goodbye to a dear friend

It is with a heavy heart that I write this posting. This week, we lost a dear friend to the transplant buddie group. Annette Johnson, Jerry's wife and partner at House of Hope Healing, passed away after a long battle with cancer. The obituary is below and can be found In the Salt Lake Trib from today (2/25)

Annette Jane Gifford Johnson
Annette Jane Gifford Johnson 1964 ~ 2009 Surrounded by her loving family, Annette Jane Gifford Johnson died peacefully at home Sunday night, February 22, 2009, after a courageous 10 year battle with a brain tumor. She was born to Wayne and Bonnie Hunter Gifford, September 8, 1964 in Nyssa, Oregon. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to California, where she was diagnosed with a significant hearing loss. At the age of three she began attending the John Tracy Clinic - a school for the deaf in California. The family moved to Boise, Idaho in 1970 where Annette attended public school and graduated from Capital High School in 1983. She married Thurmond "Jerry" Johnson Jr. on June 11, 1990, in Boise, Idaho. Jerry and Annette moved to Michigan in 1991 so that Jerry could attend the University of Michigan to study medicine. Annette worked as a preschool teacher and home daycare provider as well as being a student at Eastern Michigan University. She helped the family through numerous major medical illnesses and faced all of these obstacles with courage and determination. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June of 1999 and had surgery and radiation at that time. The tumor was in remission until 2006 when it unfortunately reoccurred. Since that time, Annette faced many daily challenges. Even during the time of her own illness, she helped over 400 families in the past five years, providing medical housing and emotional support at The House of Hope and Healing, in Sandy, Utah that Jerry and Annette established together. Annette is survived by her husband, Thurmond "Jerry" Johnson Jr., MD, step-daughter Victoria (21), daughters Adrianna (19), and Cassandra (17), her mother and step-father, Lawrence and Bonnie Molt, her father and step-mother, Wayne and Melinda Gifford, sisters Connie Chimonas and Sherry (Ken) Fawcett, her brother Don Gifford (Cathy), step-sister Leanna Davis, step-brother Jon Molt (Lisa), grandparents, Gene and Olla Jane Rutan, and Norma Gifford as well as numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother David, grandparents, Eldon Hunter, William Gifford, and Arthur and Marie Molt. A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2 p.m., at Hilltop United Methodist Church, 985 E. 10600 S., Sandy, UT. In her memory, donations may be made to the Annette Johnson Memorial Fund at any US Bank location to help with medical and funeral expenses.