Shari Ann Johnson, born July 11, 1951, passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Shari passed away peacefully in Superior, her longtime home. She suffered a lifelong disability and was admired by all for her endurance and humor. She graduated from Superior Senior High and attended U.W. Superior for 2 years and was also employed there for a time, meeting her future husband, Peter Johnson, who has been a loving and attentive companion in all ways.
A letter for my beloved wife: (by Peter W. Johnson)
“Shari and I lived together for 42 years and although we shared common in-laws we somehow never met while visiting our mutual uncle John and his wife Elsie, who was my wife’s aunt while her husband John was my dad’s brother? And although both of us spent several summers visiting John and Elsie when we were children we happened not to meet until our freshmen years in college at UWS Superior.
When I first met Shari, we were both sitting in front of the Student Union’s Jukebox which was belting out songs of that time such as, the song “War” which was used to loudly question the legitimacy and reasons for waging war— “Good God Man! What is it Good for?” She was sitting across from me dressed in one of those leather jackets which looked like something Daniel Boone would wear. She was also wearing a light brown Mac on her head, and her hair was long and lustrous— (she was gorgeous)!
During a majority of our days together Shari was able to walk quite well, and we literally traipsed all over Superior together in all kinds of weather. Once we even walked 8 miles to visit my mother in Brule after a bus dropped us off near Twin Gables Restaurant. And when walking on John Ave. a young girl tagged along beside us and asked Shari why she walked with a limp and why her left hand was deformed. I was uptight but Shari just said, “because God made me this way.” The girl looked puzzled at first, but she said, “I don’t care, you’re still pretty.” And indeed, Shari was pretty on the inside and out.
In the 1980s Shari had a secretarial assistant job in the Psychology department’s office in Old Main, on the UWS campus. She also at one time bravely shared her experience with cerebral palsy before a classroom full of students. I was also able to snap a photo of her sitting with Arnold Schwarzenegger who was then only known for being a body builder who was trying to get a business degree from UWS. It was a great picture and we shared it with several people.
Eventually, in recent years, Shari suffered from some serious illnesses which she overcame by refusing to give up. But this past year was especially hard on her, and although I will grieve her loss for the rest of my life, I know that everyone who knew Shari was touched by her inner beauty and sense of humor.
Perhaps she knew she could not overcome her latest bout with illnesses and passed away when she knew it was her time. All of us also know that if there is a heaven then she will be the most beautiful angel who ever lived there, just as she was when we were lucky enough to know her on this earth.
Thanks for all the love and support both of our families have given us, one of the ways we were born under a lucky star!”
Shari is survived by beloved husband, Peter W. Johnson, Superior, WI; sisters, Donna Watrous, Laguna Woods, CA, and Darlene Swanson, Duluth, MN; brothers, Richard Lowney, Port Wing, WI, and Jeff Lowney, Solon Springs, WI; sisters-in-laws, Mary Christine “Chris” Johnson, Superior, WI, and Jane Noffke, Madison, WI; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Esther Lowney; stepfather, Leonard Ammesmaki; and brother, Roger Lowney.
Shari was loved by everyone! A Memorial Gathering celebrating her long and courageous life will be held in the near future.
Because Shari loved children everywhere, donations will be gratefully accepted for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation or for a children’s charity of the giver’s choice.
The Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 East 5th Street, Superior, is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit our website at www.lenroot-maetzold.com.