Shirley 'Pat' Johnson, passed away on April 27, 2018 at home with 2 of her children and her beloved dog at her side after bravely battling cancer for almost three years. She was born Shirley Margaret Ellen Paterson on July 11, 1926 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
She was good at science in school and began pre-med at the University of Manitoba, but decided to take advantage of an opportunity to study medical technology in Ottawa. After completing her training, she moved to the States to work in Connecticut. She was a member of the American Society of Medical Technologists. In the early 1950s, her mother and sister moved to Vancouver, BC. She followed them west and settled in Seattle. She considered studying endocrinology at University of Washington but changed her plans after she met her future husband, Robert ‘Bob’ Johnson, at a folk dance in Seattle.
She and Bob were married in Seattle in 1954 and shortly thereafter moved to the San Francisco Bay area for Bob’s employment. In 1962, Bob’s work brought them back to the Pacific Northwest where he had spent time growing up. Bob moved to Seattle to begin work, so Pat packed up and sold the Bay Area house while 9 months pregnant with her fourth child. They moved to Bainbridge Island in October right after the 1962 Columbus Day storm when her youngest child was 2 weeks old.
Pat worked as a Medical Technologist at Swedish Hospital when they first moved to Bainbridge Island. She started working at the Winslow Clinic in 1964 in the lab and in radiology and remained there for 27 years. She made many long term friendships with the nurses and doctors at the clinic. Many people on the island knew her from her days at the clinic. At her retirement party, one of the younger doctors said she had taught him a lot.
She and Bob liked to travel and they took numerous trips, usually with friends or family. Some of the places they traveled to were Hawaii, Mexico, Scotland, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Sweden, Greece – many of their travels involved boats, either on cruise ships, chartered sailboats or canal boats. They traveled to Scotland to look up her relatives and discovered Pat’s long lost Scottish cousins, with whom they remained friends for the rest of her life.
Pat and Bob met at a dance and never stopped dancing. They loved folk dancing and taught dances at local folk dance groups. They were part of a local group who danced at different events, including Poulsbo Viking Fest. They danced till midnight at the annual Yacht club New Year’s Eve party.
The whole family enjoyed annual boating vacations – cruising in the San Juan Islands and Canadian Gulf Islands with friends. Pat and Bob continued boating after their children were grown and traveled to Alaska several times.
Pat was a long time computer user. Her first computer pre-dated the IBM PC. Over the years she owned several computers and used them to create newsletters and do other work for various organizations, personal finances, genealogy, and keep up with friends by email.
Pat was active in many organizations over the years – including Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, Poulsbo Yacht Club, Helpline House, Bainbridge Island Senior Center, and Girl Scouts. She always gave of her time and skills to those she joined, holding offices, leading committees, planning events, welcoming new members. She provided leadership, inspired others by example and was unafraid to speak her mind. She also loved to play bridge and played every week until 2 weeks before she died.
Pat was an independent woman and ahead of her time in many ways. She inspired independence and love of family in her children. Her strength and indomitable and enduring spirit inspired many and will be missed by all who knew her.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years in February 2017. She is survived by her children: Robin Yuen (and husband Wes) of Beaverton, OR; Kris Johnson of Bellingham, WA; Eric Johnson (and wife Amy) of Federal Way, WA; and Craig Johnson (and wife Paige Styler) of Milwaukee, WI. She also leaves behind her grandchildren: Ethan Johnson of Seattle, WA; Noah Johnson of Federal Way, WA; Ian Johnson of Santa Rosa, CA; Jack Styler and Zoe Styler of Milwaukee, WI.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church on Bainbridge Island, WA. A celebration of life reception will follow at 5:00 pm at the Poulsbo Yacht Club in Poulsbo, WA. Memorial contributions can be made to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, Bainbridge Island Senior Center, or Helpline House of Bainbridge Island.