Marie Jane Johnson

Marie Jane Johnson

Sunday, May 10th, 2020
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has a story. My mother had a great adventure. She lived an interesting life. She was born July 22, 1936 to her parents Karl Schwager and Jeanne (née Wirth) Schwager. Her parents ran a Droguerie in Thalwil, Switzerland, her father the druggist. Mari-Jane
was an only child. During the war a young girl from France sought refuge and they took her in like their own and for a few years mom had a live-in little sister. My mother travelled a lot, pictures of family trips to various parts of Europe, Italy was a frequent
destination and a favourite place of hers. She was a girl guide, she skied, she had many friends. At 18 years she got married and moved to Canada. The marriage didn’t last and she was soon on her own with limited English in the Toronto area. She worked
at Loblaws, put herself through University, got a Degree and became a Teacher. It would be while at a teacher friend’s gathering she would meet the greatest love of her life, my father, Alan James Johnson. It was a quick courtship, only about six months,
they got married on March 19, 1971. They got pregnant soon after but it wasn’t meant to be and sadly my mom gave birth to a stillborn. They tried again and I was born on July 10, 1973 (another only child generation). My parents were clearly in love. They
continued a great adventure, teaching, travelling, wine clubs, volunteering, helping at the church, making wines, great friends, becoming parents of a horsey child, running a bed and breakfast in Niagara on the Lake, going to concerts and theatre events; enjoying
life (quite honestly they were some of the busiest people I knew). They adored and were very involved in the lives of their two grandchildren (Garret and Trent), going to hockey games, and school events, and showing off pictures to anyone who would listen.
Garret and Trent were both treated to trips to Switzerland to see where my mother grew up. They continued their adventure until my father passed December 14, 2013 and at that time my mother’s dementia was too much for her to live on her own. She became a resident
of the home she once frequently volunteered at in Niagara on the Lake, Chateau Gardens (now Niagara Long Term Care). Mom loved her new home and the people and activities it gave her access to. She made many friends. Over the years her independence deteriorated
and could no longer walk or talk. She was loved and well cared for, many residents addressed her with a hello and her name long after mom couldn’t really respond. The nursing staff joked with her, chatted with her and cared for her right until the end. I
am so grateful for the connections she had in the home as with Covid 19 we hadn't been allowed to visit. We were called in last Wednesday, as it was apparent that mom wasn’t doing well, we visited her Thursday and Saturday and said our goodbyes. On Mother’s
Day this year, May 10, 2020 she passed, my mom went to be with my dad. I know they are dancing and drinking fine wine together again. I love you very much mom and miss you terribly.

Life Well Lived

A life well lived is a precious gift

Of hope and strength and grace,

From someone who has made our world

A brighter, better place

It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad

With smiles and sometimes tears,

With friendships formed and good times shared

And laughter through the years.

A life well lived is a legacy

Of joy and pride and pleasure,

A living, lasting memory

Our grateful hearts will treasure

Author Unknown

Johnson (née Schwager) July 22, 1936 - May 10, 2020

is predeceased by her husband Alan, and her parents Jeanne and Karl. Sheleaves behind her daughter Andréa (Tim Edwards) and her grandchildren Garret and Trent Sammut and step grandchildren Molly and Emily Edwards. In light of Covid 19 there will be a celebration of life held for friends and family when we are able to do so.
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Sybilla Mannsfeldt

Posted at 03:47pm
Dear Andrea and family:

Allow me to express my deepest sympathy for the loss of your dear Mom, Grandmaman/Oma and friend. I am so glad that you could still say good-bye to her in person despite the Corona Virus outbreak at the nursing home.

My name is Sybilla Mannsfeldt (nee Gerlach). I met Marie-Jeanne, your dear Mom, at York University in Toronto to graduate together in 1968, sharing our love for French as our Major subject. Another friend, Elke Yuzwa (nee Hagemeister) also was part of our little group of German/Swiss background. Marie-Jeanne and Al actually became neighbours in the townhouse area of Meadowvale near Streetsville when I lived there in the 1970's with my first husband Bruce Taylor. I remember fondly the invitations to dinner on Friday nights there when every meal was a gourmet meal; good food and the excellent matching of wine was a passion for the two. Al convinced us at that time to join his Opimian Wine Club that we enjoyed together for many years until my marriage broke up. And that is how I met and stayed in touch with our joint friends, Gerry and Bill Smyth who emailed me the sad news of Marie-jeanne's recent passing. And it was at the townhouse location that I also met you, dear Andrea, as a baby, but I am sure you will not remember me.

Then our lives went into different directions after my remarriage to Peter Mannsfeldt (we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary). We live in a home in Don Mills and I recall that on our 10th wedding anniversary we were vacationing in the Niagara Lake area and had learned from the Smyth's that your Mom and Dad were managing a B&B there, so we went to visit them there for one afternoon. I think that was the last time I had personal contact with your Mom (late 1980's). Through our continued friendship with Gerry and Bill, we would learn about your Dad's passing and that your Mom had developed dementia, and now of her passing as well.

Thank you, Andrea, for the wonderful photos of your parents' wedding and some at a later time. That is how I remember them, very much in love, a big "joie de vivre" in their life together and enjoying you, their child. It is so unfortunate that we cannot all gather in person due to the Corona outbreakfor a Celebration of Life of your dear Mom, I would have loved to come. I now would like to continue with the following statement "Softly the leaves of memory fall: gently we gather and treasure them all."
Sybilla Mannsfeldt
email: or telephone: 416-444-0908


Tracey Ljungberg

Posted at 04:01pm
This is beautiful synopsis of your mother’s life. I know how important and caring your mother was to you from your many stories. Big hugs to you, Tim and the boys!❤️

Juana Cruz

Posted at 02:58pm
At this sorrowful period in your life, please accept my sincerest condolences for the death of your loved one.  Reflecting on the divine promises found in the Bible will give you hope and strength to keep going until all of God's promises are fulfilled. (John 5:28, 29; Romans 15:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).

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