Delores Irene Peterson Johnson | AspenTimes.com

Delores Irene Peterson Johnson

Delores Johnson was born to Peter and Julia (nee Akre) Peterson in South Dakota in 1933. She was raised on a farm with her 7siblings. She maintained both her farm work ethic and cow-milking muscles until the day she died.

Delores married Paul Johnson in 1951 on the day before she graduated from high school. She wore a dress she sewed herself in her high school home economics class. A piece of their wedding cake was on display when she and Paul celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They were blessed to celebrate 62 anniversaries before cancer cut them short.

Delores and Paul moved to Colorado Springs in 1951 before Paul shipped out for service with the 196th Regimental Combat team to Alaska. Delores worked at the military base that later become the Olympic Training Center, and sent Paul care packages of angel food cakes held steady by popcorn.

In 1959 they moved over the mountains into Aspen where they watched the fledgling ski industry develop and thrive. She spent many years as a Boy Scout den mother and Girl Scout troop leader. Delores worked for years at Reese Henry & Co. where she developed a life-long friendship with Reese and Wava Henry. Her work was diligent, dedicated, and reminiscent of her South Dakota upbringing She retired in 1997, and she and Paul sold their Aspen home, bought a new motor home, and went in search of warmer winters. They spent years in Sedona, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas and travelled to visit family and friends from New York to Washington and everywhere in between, always departing with a reminder to, “drive fast and pass on the corners.” Delores always described herself as “mean and ornery,” but she could not have been more wrong. As one of her nieces described her, she was “a fine woman, a steward to lost souls, a cantankerous old gal, an unknowing teacher, a true friend and someone who will be missed by more people than she will ever know.” She was kind, generous, and her support and love were absolute.

Delores returned to the Valley last fall and was surrounded by her family when cancer finally won the battle. She is survived by her husband Paul, sisters Donna and Jean, sister-in-law Jean, daughters Paula (Robert) and Kristin (Tom), sons Peter and Eric, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild (with one more on the way), and a devoted Cocker Spaniel.

A party to celebrate her incredible life will be held at the 28th annual family reunion this summer at Camp Hale. Anyone wanting to attend please send an e-mail to Kristin Boronski at ouchild@comcast.net. Delores has specifically instructed all who attend that no one is allowed to cry. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Callaway Young Cancer center.


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