Frances Ann (Riecken) Johnson


Frances Ann (Riecken) Johnson passed away on May 17, 2019.  

When she passed from this world, she was staying at the home of her eldest daughter and son-in-law (Lori and Jerry Sweeney) in Douglas, Wyo. She spent 88 years on this earth before a stroke on April 28 left her in a severely weakened state.

Born July 7, 1930, in Grass Creek, Wyo., to Cornelius and Vera (Miller) Riecken, Fran grew up among the sagebrush and oil fields. When her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Bremerton, Wash., where she graduated from high school in 1948. She returned to Grass Creek, where she met Jack Johnson, the love of her life. He proposed on Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park, and the two married on September 9, 1950. They welcomed their first daughter, Lori Ann, in October of 1951 and their second daughter, Vera Lynn, in October of 1953. In 1962, the Johnsons relocated to their current home in Thermopolis...the yellow house on Arapahoe.

Fran stayed home to raise their girls. After they left home to form families of their own, she found occasional employment around town. She supported Jack when he campaigned for County Commissioner. They regularly enjoyed being part of a bridge club. She orchestrated an annual reunion for the former residents of Grass Creek. She and Jack have been regulars at the Thermopolis senior center. She enjoyed helping him deliver Meals on Wheels.

In her later years, she renewed her devotion to the Lord and regularly attended First Baptist Church of Thermopolis. She loved her family dearly and always encouraged us to take our vitamins and eat our vegetables. She instituted her own family’s regular reunions. She rejoiced in her six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her brother, Charles (Pat) Riecken of Wallowa, Ore .; husband of 68 years, Jack Johnson of Thermopolis, Wyo .; daughters, Lori Ann (Jerry) Sweeney of Douglas, Wyo., and Vera Lynn (Kevin) Knopik of Casper, Wyo.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church of Thermopolis, 310 S 6th St., on Friday, May 24 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to GBS|CIDP Foundation ( 375 E Elm Street, Ste 101, Conshohocken, PA 19428 or Hospice of Central Wyoming (, 319 S Wilson Street, Casper, WY, 82601.


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