EVART — Edna Ann Carmichael Johnson, 85, beloved wife of 65 years of Herbert Johnson entered into rest on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at their home surrounded by family. She was born on April 1, 1935 in Evart, Michigan to the late Stewart and Lulu (Closson) Carmichael on the family homestead. She was one of seven children and grew up working alongside her family on the farm. Growing up in a musical family, she learned to play Hawaiian guitar, piano, and coronet. While her father played violin at community square dances, Edna would accompany him on the piano.
Upon graduation from Evart High School she moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan for work, after her marriage she and her husband raised a family and resided in Michigan, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Georgia. When the children were raised she pursued an Associate Degree in Nursing from Clayton State University, working as a Registered Nurse at Southern Regional Hospital from 1984-1993. She also served as a volunteer hospice worker. After retirement she returned to their Evart farm.
Returning to Evart, Edna revisited her musical roots and took up her father’s violin. With encouragement from the fiddler community she attended fiddler jamborees and began to play confidently. Edna was the treasurer of the Original Michigan Fiddlers Association for many years. She was inducted into the Michigan Fiddlers Hall of Fame on August 10, 2019. She co-authored Stewart Carmichael Michigan Fiddler, a tribute to the music of her father. She was also a member of the Original Dulcimer Players Club.
After retirement she wintered in Okeechobee, Florida at the Kissimmee River Fishing Resort. Edna played fiddle in the Resort’s community center band. She was the treasurer of the Resort’s Homeowners Association for over 15 years.
Edna was a member of the Emerald Lake Birthday Club. She attended the South Evart Community Free Methodist Church and Westside Christian Church in Okeechobee.
She began flying lessons in 1967 in Chicago obtained her pilot license in New Hampshire. She did her solo flight in their Cessna 175. The celebration of her 60th wedding anniversary culminated in a family journey to Hawaii. She traveled with her family around the world visiting Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Edna is survived by her husband, Herbert A. Johnson, son Douglas Johnson of Salem, AL, daughter Dawn (Joesph) Keep of Harlem, GA, and son Merrick (Mary) Johnson of Decatur, GA. Grandchildren: Stephanie (Stephen) Montoya, Joshua Keep, Robin (Jason) Barfield, and Jenna (Jason) Matt. Great grandchildren: Canon and Nola Ann Montoya and George Barfield. All of Edna’s siblings reside in Evart; brothers Edwin (Linda) Carmichael, James (Judy) Carmichael, and Nedro (Reta) Carmichael, Sister Marie (Frank) Wilkerson, brother-in-laws Ralph Johnson, John Lee, sister-in-laws Shirley Johnson, Louise (Clint) Hurdle, and Helen (Jack) Aaron, three maternal aunts, a host of beloved nieces and nephews, cousins and lifelong friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Stewart and Lulu Carmichael, infant brother Stewart, sister June Corey, and loving son Arthur Stewart.
A family only funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, July 3 at Corey Funeral Home in Evart, with Pastor Mike Dunn officiating, with visitation from noon till time of services. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Johnson Farm on Saturday, July 4 from 1 until 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Munson Home Health Care, 618 S. Mitchell St., Suite A, Cadillac, MI 49601, or Hospice Foundations.