Gertrude Sofia Sjogren Johnson, 1914- 2017, a longtime teacher in the Blue Lake school, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 15, at the Sequoia Springs home in Fortuna, just six weeks short of her 103rd birthday.

Daughter of Swedish immigrants Signe (Hanson) and Otto Sjogren, she was born in Boston, Mass.

First in her class of 1931 at Hopkinton (Mass.) High School, she graduated from Framingham State Teachers’ College in 1936 and taught high school students before marrying Elmer Johnson of Hopkinton.

Soon after WWII ended she and her husband realized a lifelong dream — selling their home and traveling the western United States with their three young children. By chance they stopped in Humboldt County in 1948, just as Blue Lake needed a new teacher. She was hired immediately and taught the children of Blue Lake until her retirement 25 years later, teaching second and fifth grades after taking summer school classes at Humboldt for her California credential.  She was a fine pianist and also gave lessons for local students.

In retirement, Gertrude, who always wished to be called Trudi, made her home in Arcata and enjoyed sharing the care of her grandchildren, traveling, and the company of her friends. She bowled with her team until nearly the age of 90. Meeting each challenge in her life with strength, cheerfulness and resilience, she was a good friend to have.

Elmer and her son, Hans, predeceased her. She is survived by daughter Beverly, son Nils (Bobbie) and grandchildren Christopher (Joela), Randolph, Lisa (James), Eric, Keith (Rocio), Kristi (Brian), Scott and seven great grandchildren, Katherine, Jackson, Graham, Andrew, Joseph, David and Alexander.

 Her family will always cherish their memories of her.

Arrangements under the Care of Goble’s Fortuna Mortuary, Fortuna.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Trudi Johnson’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email