Jaclyn Johnson: 1949 ~ 2015


Jacquelyn K. “Jaclyn” Johnson, 66, of Three Rivers died at her home on Monday, March 30, 2015. Jacquelyn had been ill with metastatic breast cancer for nearly 10 years. 

A private family graveside service will be held today (Friday, April 3). A celebration of Jacquelyn’s life will be held tomorrow (Saturday, April 4) at 11 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Three Rivers.

During the time period when Jacquelyn’s body was knowingly under attack by the disease, she experienced numerous medical operations, extended periods of chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. From the time of her first diagnosis, she proceeded with a verve and focus for life that carried her far beyond the onerous potential outcome of cancer. She lived with energy and accomplishment.  

Jacquelyn’s medical care at the UCSF Breast Cancer Center was world class. She received emotional nourishment and support from a legion of friends and family and daily was upheld by a continuing, ongoing mountain of prayer from friends, family, and community members.

In many cases, the disease was arrested and, at times, seemingly benign or in remission. During the progression of the disease, her original tumor composition, Estrogen Positive, morphed into a more deadly tumor form, HER-2. There were times when she was treated with the newest, most successful drugs; other times, proven products were used and, at times, reused.

Jacquelyn was born February 24, 1949, in Iowa City, Iowa, the daughter of Robert and Lorene North. After her father completed his college education, the family moved to Denison, Iowa. 

As a teenager, Jacquelyn moved with her family to Seattle, where she graduated from West Seattle High School in 1967.  

In 1972, Jacquelyn married Stan Johnson. Together, they raised a blended family of four children: Kari Johnson, 48, of Wenatchee, Wash.; Derek Johnson, 45, and wife Shelli of Oregon City, Ore.; Kristan Johnson, 44, of Oakland; and Jana Johnson, 34, and husband Mark of Hanford. 

The great joy of Jacquelyn’s life came from her five grandchildren, Riley and Averi Johnson, Maya Burgos, Ethan Jones, and Violet Johnson.

Jacquelyn was very focused on exercise. Through the years, she passionately pursued alpine snow skiing, cross-country skiing, dance exercise, distance running, swimming, and swim exercise. She was certified as an aerobic instructor by the International Dance Exercise Association.

She was an enthusiastic weaver and natural dyer as a member of a weaver’s guild. While living in Washington, for many years Jacquelyn was a master canner and State Fair food judge.

Jacquelyn’s college education consisted of classes at the University of Washington (Seattle), Cal State University at Fullerton, San Francisco State University, and Marylhurst (Oregon) University where she earned a degree in social science. She also attained a graduate certificate in gerontology at CSUF. While attending CSUF, Jacquelyn received her first experience as an educator, serving as a tutor for a chemistry class.

At SFSU, she was hired first for Student Orientation, then as an assistant to the Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Science and, finally, the career love of her life, working in Student Outreach Services as a recruiter and academic advisor. During her time at SFSU, Jacquelyn was also a lecturer and instructor. In the summer of 2009, she retired from SFSU and began full-time residence in Three Rivers.

She dove into life in Three Rivers head first and the community was the beneficiary. She was actively involved in the Three Rivers Woman’s Club, the local chapter of the Red Hat Society, Sierra Traditional Jazz Club, Three Rivers Performing Arts and Center Stage Strings Music Camp, and Edible Garden Club, among her other community service and causes.

Throughout her life, Jacquelyn maintained a high level of active support for the churches she attended, most recently First Baptist Church in Three Rivers. She may be most remembered for her unflagging, positive attitude and trust in God in the face of adversity and the joy and abandon with which she lived life.

In addition to her husband of 43 years, Stan, and her children  and grandchildren, Jacquelyn is survived by her father, Robert North, of Seattle; sister Kathryn Comfort of Three Rivers; and brothers Tom North and wife Sue of Kirkland, Wash., David North and wife Dianne of Battle Ground, Wash., and Jerry North of Bradenton, Fla.

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