Dorothy Louise Johnson was born May 17, 1922 on a farm south of Farnam, Neb., to Emil and Judith Johnson. She and her twin sister Dora were the ninth and tenth children of 16. Dorothy grew up on the family farm in Frontier County. As a child she enjoyed being a member of a big family and partaking in the farm chores. She would frequently speak of sleeping four in a bed with a smile on her face. Times were tough growing up. She remembered the Depression and the hardships of life back then.
Dorothy graduated the eighth grade from a country school a mile from her home. She loved reading but didn’t care for arithmetic. Dorothy was a fast runner and told of winning foot races and having to use the winnings to buy overalls.
Dorothy joined Stanley Vlasin in Holy Matrimony on Sept. 12, 1938 at the Resurrection of our Lord Catholic Church in Elsie, Neb. They made their home on a farm south of Elsie. They were married for 52 years. Dorothy was a devoted wife and mother of six children. She enjoyed the farm, raising her family, and being outdoors. She was especially fond of her mother-in-law Anna Vlasin who taught her how to cook and about the Catholic faith. When Dorothy and Stan were dating, Grandpa Vlasin advised Stan “don’t start something you aren’t going to finish.” Dorothy and Stan moved from the farm into Madrid in 1976. Dorothy ran the diner there in Madrid.
Dorothy moved from Madrid to Imperial in 1993. Dorothy loved the outdoors. She especially loved fishing and would jump at a chance to go. Her favorite catch was walleye. When fishing with her grandchildren she frequently baited five poles with worms before she was able to get her own pole in the water. When Dorothy first moved to Imperial she was known to walk to daily Mass. She would occasionally pick up worms to and from church and put them in her pocket to save them for her next fishing outing.
Dorothy Johnson Vlasin was wedded to Dean Milner on April 17, 1999. The couple enjoyed 15 years of companionship. They enjoyed traveling in their RV, playing cards and visiting family and friends as well as hosting family events.
Dorothy was an excellent historian and never forgot a name. She was easy to strike up conversation with and always loved good conversation. Her grandkids especially liked hearing the stories of her upbringing during the Depression. They also loved her songs, riddles, and especially her jokes.
The last several years of her life Dorothy could frequently be found in a church pew at the Catholic church or with a Rosary in her hand. Her family has hailed her as their “family prayer warrior.” She was especially proud of her six children for remaining faithful in the teachings of the catholic church.
Dorothy passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Chase County Community Hospital in Imperial Nebraska. She was 94 years of age.
Dorothy is survived by her children Neal (Barb) Vlasin of Madrid, Neb., Ann Ross of Madrid, Neb., Janice (Chris) Kraus of Hyannis, Neb., Mike (Peg) Vlasin of Wray, Colo. and Theresa (Dan) Russell of Imperial, Neb.; and daughter-in-law Lana Vlasin of Seward, Neb.
22 grandchildren: Trudy (Gary) Samuelson, Pat (Patti) Vlasin, Kevin Vlasin, Brenda (Brad) Johnson, Nick (Sandy) Ross, Dan (Joey) Ross, Tom (Michelle) Ross, Kaylynn (Justin) Harris, Michelle (Mark) Spady. Paula (Mike) Rosentrator, Troy (Lisa) Vlasin, Corinne (Brandon) Schwenk, Cynthia (Josh) Guerue, Jeff (Sara) Kraus, Valerie (Chad) Kershner, Scott (Kelly) Kraus, Justin (Adrienne) Lorimer, Kristanis Lorimer, Brett Vlasin, Tiffany (Dan) Reeves, Derek (Amber) Russell, Tabitha (Evan) Divis.
49 great-grandchildren: McKayla Aschinger, Joey Johnson, Jake Johnson, Maddie Johnson, Cooper Johnson, Megan Ross, Tony Ross, Brittany Ross, Vinny Ross, Jay Ross, Julee Ross, Brandi Ross, Spencer Ross, Wyatt Harris, Lane Harris, Gemma Harris, Jax Harris, Alec Spady, Paige Spady, Nolan Spady, Sophie Spady, Lucy Spady, Olivia Spady, Quinn Spady, Hannah Rosentrator, Emmitt Rosentrator, Eben Rosentrator, Grant Vlasin, Marti Vlasin, Brandon Schwenk, Jordyn Schwenk, Kiley Guerue, Ilycia Guerue, Isaiah Guerue, Bailey Kraus, Aaron Kraus, Keigan Kershner, Jaisa Kershner, Kendree Lorimer, Brinley Lorimer, Elizabeth Reeves, Thomas Reeves, Ali Reeves, Becca Reeves, Gianna Reeves, Destry Russell, Adi Russell, Millie Russell, John Paul Divis.
Three great-great-grandchildren: Creed Spady, Charlie Aschinger, Declan Ross.
Brother: Donald Johnson of Camarillo, Calif.
Sister: Adelay Bassler of Tehachapi, Calif.
She is preceded in death by her late husbands Stanley Vlasin and Dean Milner; son Paul Vlasin; son-in-law Joe Ross; granddaughter Mary Vlasin; grandson Michael Kraus; great-grandson Austin Spady; her parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and numerous family members.
The Funeral Mass was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 24, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Imperial, with Father Bernard Lorenz of St. Patrick’s celebrating. Visitation was held from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at Liewer Funeral Home, Imperial. The Rosary was recited at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Burial followed the funeral dinner at the Madrid Cemetery, starting at 2:30 p.m.
A memorial has been established to the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Building Fund
Online condolences can be left at liewerfuneralhome.com.
Liewer Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.