Our precious mother and grandmother Gloria (Schelp) Johnson joined her Savior on November
8, 2021, at the age of 89.
Gloria was born in Endicott, WA on October 23, 1932 to the Rev. Arthur and Hilda Schelp. She
had very fond memories of her childhood years in Sandy, Oregon, living in the parsonage that
sat between the church and school. At the age of nine, Gloria moved with her family to Tacoma,
WA, where her father was called to be Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church. She was one of seven
children in a large Christian family that shared much love and laughter.
Gloria attended school at Concordia Lutheran, in Tacoma, WA. She graduated from Stadium
High School in 1950. As a teenager, Gloria was very involved in Walther League, a Lutheran
youth organization. She vividly remembered traveling to various conference events, especially
loving to hear all of the participants raise their voices in song. Gloria thoroughly enjoyed singing
in the “Schelp Sisters Quartet,” which was directed by their father.
After graduation from high school, Gloria worked as secretary to the Superintendent of Tacoma
Public Schools. In August of 1955, she married her husband K. Walter Johnson. Together with
Walt, Gloria lovingly raised three daughters and two sons. Her children have fond memories of
their mother showing them the wildflowers hiding on the forest floor, pointing out special birds
flitting among the trees, swimming in the lake below the family cabin, and helping them learn the
name of each flower in her many gardens.
Gloria truly loved God’s beauty in nature. She had a special talent for gardening and creating
beautiful floral arrangements. She loved her bluebird boxes. Her Audubon bird book is filled with
notations and check marks highlighting the birds she was fortunate to see.
Throughout her life, Gloria loved and was active in her church family. As a member of Parkland
Lutheran Church, she took leadership roles in Women’s Club, Mission Guild, Vacation Bible
School, and womens’ Bible studies and retreats. Gloria also sang in the church choir and, with
her husband, helped decorate the church Christmas tree for over 20 years.
Gloria was a fun-loving and light-hearted mother, bringing music, laughter, and “silliness” into
the Johnson family home. These moments of “silliness” are what her five grandchildren cherish
the most. Gloria will be greatly missed by all.
Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, K. Walter Johnson, and her son Brun who
passed shortly after birth. She is survived by her daughters Tamara Grieger (husband Doug),
Lissa Ruggels (husband Tom), Beth Johnson, and sons Dane Johnson and Alan Johnson, and
grandchildren Matthieu, Adam, Mari, Mackenzie, and Andrew. Gloria was preceded in death by
her parents, brothers Don and Carl, and sisters Ruth and Wilma. She is survived by her brother
Sandy and sister Roberta.
Gloria’s family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Deer Ridge Memory Care for their
loving and tender attention. Memorials in our mother’s name may be made to Parkland Lutheran
Church as a contribution toward an artisan-made floral stand--a special wish of our mother.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gloria (Schelp) Johnson, please visit our floral store.