Alene Esther Seward Johnson was born March 6, 1942, in Yakima, Wash., to Orris Seward and Lucille (Richards) Seward. The Sewards had a large family of six girls and two boys. Alene attended school in Wapato and Naches, Wash.
Alene met Willie Johnson in 1958, and they were married Dec. 29, 1959. That was the beginning of their lives together for the next 47 years. They were a military family for the next few years, traveling back and forth between Washington state and San Diego, Calif.
Cheri and Julie were added to the family during those Navy years, and Willie Jr. came along in 1964.
Alene and Willie were accepted into the Washington State Patrol family in 1964, and Alene supported Willie in his job as a Washington State Trooper for the next 25 years, while raising their family and working full time as a grocery checker. During those years, Alene met and made many close friends.
After Willie’s retirement from the Washington State Patrol in 1989, Alene managed a resort in Sekiu, Wash., for the next three years, working many hours a day during the summer. The winter months for the next 13 years were spent in San Carlos, Mexico, where they built a home, and again met and made many wonderful friends, whom she was able to visit the last week of her life.
In 1994, Alene and Willie moved to Hells Canyon on the Oregon, Idaho border, where she continued to support her Willie in his job as a deputy sheriff during the summer months.
In 2003, Alene and Willie moved into their home in Florence Gardens. Of all the homes Alene lived in over the past 47 years, she loved her home in Florence Gardens the best. Alene continued to make many close friends.
Alene loved to cook, and she has made many people smile with her pies. Alene was never idle. She kept a spotless home, and her number one challenge was taking care of her husband, Willie.
Even though Alene was some distance from most of her family, she was involved every day with something going on in the family. She loved everyone, and was always ready to lend a hand with anything.
Alene’s personality and smile were infectious, and it was impossible not to love her. Alene passed away Feb. 7, 2007, at 5:09 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., from a cerebral hemorrhage. Alene is an Oregon donor, and within the first 12 hours of her passing, she saved two lives with the donation of her kidneys and liver.
She was preceded in death by her father, Orris Seward; her mother, Lucille; a brother, Ted Seward; and her son, Willie Jr.
Alene is survived by her husband, Willie Johnson; daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Jim Wieck, of Bremerton, Wash.; daughter, Cheri Johnson of Seattle, Wash.; sisters, Evelyn Poisel, Loraine Hale, Donna Erickson, Marilyn Seward, and brother, Don Seward, all of Yakima Wash.; and sister, Marlene Rich of Discovery Bay, Wash. She is also survived by two grandchildren along with 19 nieces and nephews.
Alene will be interred at the Terrace Heights Cemetery in Yakima Wash., alongside her son, Willie Jr. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the CPOA (Caliente Casa de Sol Property Owners Association) Memorial Fund for a Heart Machine (AED), through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home PO Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, February, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor