The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Sara Johnson


June 27, 2018

Dec. 14, 1927 - June 21, 2018

Sara Elizabeth Johnson, 90, of Foster died June 21, 2018.

She was born Dec. 14, 1927 in Brownwood, Texas to Samuel Luther and Mattie Virginia (Jones) Driskill. 

She lived in Brownwood, Texas from 1927 to 1943, in Vancouver, Wash. from 1944 to 1945, in Eugene from 1945 to 1949, in Sweet Home from 1949 to 1953, and in Foster from 1953 until the present time. 

Mrs. Johnson worked at Langmack Hospital in Sweet Home; Sallie Shopper, and The New Era. She was a VISTA worker, identifying senior citizens in Sweet Home and surrounding area and assessing their needs.

She was the first director for Sweet Home Senior Center and began the SHARE bus. She and her husband Bill came up with the name "Sweet Home Area Rides for the Elderly." She was a small business owner for plant care for Sweet Home area businesses, Cut Flowers of All Seasons, and raised purebred collie puppies. Her collie, Trails End Master Mo, won Best in Show at the Spokane, Wash. dog show in the early 1970s. 

Mrs. Johnson volunteered a great deal. Prior to her involvement with the Senior Center, she served as a precinct worker for many years. She continued to volunteer her time at the Senior Center after retirement; and served on the board in almost every capacity. She was a member of the board that worked to get the Jim Riggs Community Center funded and built.

In 2002 she was BPW Woman of the Year. She served in the Sweet Home United Methodist Women's Organization in many capacities. Mrs. Johnson was a friend in deed to a friend in need. 

She enjoyed growing vegetables for canning and feeding her family. There was always a jar of jelly or honey on the table for every meal, which added up to 365.

She knew the names of all the plants that grew in her area. Mrs. Johnson self-taught herself which mushrooms were edible and the best way to prepare them. She drew fantastic pictures using charcoal from the fire.

She loved to write and studied writing for a career at one time. She took up photography and printed her own pictures. She taught herself how to administer healthcare to cattle and horses so the vet didn't have to be called. She made her own lye soap and taught others when asked by area groups.

Mrs. Johnson loved to bake and her biscuit recipe is part of the Sweet Home Senior Center Cookbook.

She loved to make wine; she and Bill hosted wine-tasting parties long before they became popular. Sara enjoyed reading and loved to share what she had read with others.

Gardening is what she is most remembered for, but it didn't become a love until after she retired from the Senior Center when she achieved her lifelong goal of turning Trails End ranch into a "site to behold." 

Mrs. Johnson is survived by her children, Stephen M. Johnson of Sweet Home, Geoffrey W. A. Johnson of Redmond, Wash., Heather E. Johnson of Foster, Christopher J. Johnson of Centralia, Wash., and Virginia J. Cotter of Sweet Home; 15 grandchildren; and 32 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William H. Johnson (2007); son Howard D. B. Johnson (1975); sisters Bettie L. Driskill (1982), Tera O. Driskill (2017), and Mary M. Driskill Lykins (2004); brothers Joseph M. Driskill (1988), Samuel T. "Ted" Driskill (2004), and Oscar A. "Dirk" Driskill (2014).

A memorial service will be held at a future date. 

Memorial contributions can be made in her name to Jim Riggs Community (Senior) Center for Sweet Home United Methodist Church. 

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements. 


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