Kirsten Anne Montgomery Johnson passed away at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC on July 10, 2021 on her way home from vacation after a four and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer.
An intrepid traveler and marathon runner with huge reserves of inner strength, Kirsten never let her cancer keep her down or define her. Indeed, she continued to display her deep faith, commitment to her family and friends, her love of teaching and serving youth in her schools and church to the very last days of her life. She was a small person with a mighty spirit.
Born in 1965 in Waterloo, Iowa, Kirsten and her family lived in a variety of places following her father’s vocation as a Lutheran pastor. After years in Sioux Falls and Staten Island, Kirsten graduated from Cooper High School, New Hope, MN in 1983. Kirsten next attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she majored in Communications. After graduation in 1987, Kirsten moved to California with a college friend where she found her way into her true vocation of elementary school teaching. Kirsten taught in a variety of school districts including a Lutheran elementary school in Los Angeles and public schools in the Boston area, Spring Lake Park, Barnesville and Moorhead, MN. Central to her teaching success was her ability to connect on a personal level with students making each one feel special.
It was while she was teaching in Boston that Kirsten met her future husband Eric who was stationed at a nearby Connecticut naval base. Their serendipitous meeting is rich in the wonder of how God is active in unexpected ways. In 1993, Kirsten and Eric were married in St. Paul, MN where they had relocated and began their life together.
Preceded in death by grandparents Gerald and Olive Aust, Harry and Elise Montgomery, step-grandfather Reidar Thomte and Uncle Robert Aust, Kirsten was deeply loved and is survived by her husband of nearly 30 years Eric, children Noah Johnson, Signe Johnson, step-daughter, Berit Johnson, parents, Arthur and Barbara Montgomery, aunt Jan Aust, sister Kara (David) Johnson, brother Kevin Montgomery, nieces Pari Johnson and Amara Montgomery, and nephew Wyatt Johnson.
A memorial gathering will be held on July 26, 2021 from 4-7 p.m. with a time for sharing and prayer service at 7 p.m., at the Christian Life Center at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, MN. The Memorial Service will be on July 27, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. The service will also be live streamed. Video tribute, online guestbook and link to the livestream at www.wrightfuneral.com
In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest memorial contributions to either the Moorhead Schools Legacy Foundation (www.moorheadlegacy.org) or Concordia College (www.concordiacollege.edu).