Funeral services for Velma L. Johnson, age 81 of Tilden, Nebraska, will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 22, 2014, at Peace United Church of Christ in Tilden. Reverend Theta Dame will officiate, with burial in the Tilden City Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Brockhaus-Harlan Funeral Home in Tilden.
Velma died Saturday, August 16, 2014, at Community Pride Care Center in Battle Creek, Nebraska.
Velma Lorraine (Schwarting) Johnson, daughter of William George and Hattie (Oppliger) Schwarting, was born on December 23, 1932, at the family's farm home located between Oakdale and Tilden, Nebraska, in rural Antelope County. Velma was baptized at the Evangelical and Reformed Church (now Peace United Church of Christ) in Tilden. Velma attended Oakdale High School, graduating with the Class of 1951. After graduation, she lived with her grandparents in Tilden and worked at Johnson's Market and Locker until marrying Merrill C. Johnson on January 17, 1954, at Peace United Church of Christ in Tilden. The couple was blessed with two sons: Jerry Clinton and Richard William. Velma and Merrill raised their family in Tilden, where they operated the family business, Johnson's Market and Locker. Velma and Merrill together were a part of the Tilden business community for the first 48 years of their marriage, until selling their store to Paul Bichlmeier of Norfolk, Nebraska, in November of 2000. The sale of the store marked the end of two generations of the Johnson family being in the grocery and locker business in Tilden, as Merrill, along with his parents and brother, had operated the store since 1934, with Merrill assuming sole ownership in 1952. Velma and Merrill celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on January 18, 2004, at Peace United Church of Christ in Tilden, and would enjoy another year of time together until Merrill's death on March 7, 2005. After Merrill's passing, Velma continued to reside in Tilden.
Velma was a confirmed and active member of Peace United Church of Christ in Tilden for 66 years. In addition to being a member of the church, she was also a member of the Women's Fellowship. In her free time, Velma enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, county fairs, golfing, bowling, but most of all, spending time with her family.
Velma is survived by her sons, Jerry (Yvonne) Johnson of Tilden, Nebraska, and Richard (Maureen) Johnson of Tilden; four grandchildren, Brooke Elizabeth (Luke) Wentz of Omaha, Nebraska, Whitney Nicole (Mike) Kiepke of Norfolk, Nebraska, Richard Merrill Johnson of Tilden, and Ryan Joseph Johnson of Tilden; two great-grandchildren, Carson Wentz and Paisley Kiepke; brothers, Larry D. (Marlene) Schwarting of Falls City, Nebraska, Lyle G. (Norma) Schwarting of Lincoln, Nebraska, Robert Ray (Glenda) Schwarting of Kearney, Nebraska, Jerry Lee Schwarting of Fremont, Nebraska, Daryl Dean (Darlene) Schwarting of Columbus, Nebraska, and Dale Gene (Bonnie) Schwarting of Oakdale, Nebraska; sister, Delores M. (Gordon) Broberg of Newman Grove, Nebraska; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband.