Merry L. Johnson


Merry L. Johnson

October 18, 1952 – October 5, 2019

Lifelong pharmacist.  Preceded in death by parents, Betty and Marvin Hanson.  Survived by brother, Mikal G. Hanson (Nancy); nephew, Kai Hanson (Kayla) and daughter, Elouise; niece, Kristen Ganske (Andy); nephew, Max Hanson (Baillie) and daughter, Roody; niece, Suzanne Horwich (Darren Cowan) and daughters, Samara and Gabriella Cowan.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, October 15th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by CELEBRATION OF LIFE at 7pm.  Memorials are suggested to Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center.


   Merry Louise Johnson was born on October 18, 1952 in Sioux Falls, SD.  After living two years in Hills, MN, Merry and her family moved to Huron, SD where she lived, learned and grew up.  Her parents, Marvin and Betty, both taught as Associate College Professors at Huron College.

Merry’s early years were spent living and traveling in many parts of the country during the summer months while Marv went to summer school at different universities.   Merry lived in Pullman, Washington; Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; Boulder, Colorado; Rolla, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; and Missoula, Montana.  She also spent many summer days reading books and playing with her mother and her little brother, Mikal, who was two years younger than Merry.  They were very close growing up since they had only each other as friends during those summer months.

In 1970, Merry and her classmates were the first class to graduate from the New Huron High School.  After that, Merry began her under-graduate degree training at the University of Nebraska where she became a hugely devoted Big Red fan.  After her first year at Lincoln, Merry became a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority where she met many life-long friends and created many cherished memories.

In 1973 Merry transferred to the pharmacy program at University of Nebraska at Omaha to obtain her pharmacy degree.  After graduating in 1975, Merry stretched her wings and spent a short time on the East Coast in Boston working as a pharmacist there.

Not happy away from her Midwest roots, Merry moved back to Omaha in 1975 and proceeded to work for 44 years as a pharmacist for the residents of Omaha—first at Skaggs/Osco Drug Store and then, for the last fifteen years, at Baker’s on West Center Rd.  During that 44 years, Merry met, counseled, and trained a significant number of pharmacists and pharmacist interns who later became close friends.

In 1975 Merry married Denny Johnson and while they did not stay together as a couple, they remained lifelong friends until his death in 2018.

As many of you know, Merry was a fiercely independent soul.  Merry loved her “Eldorado” neighborhood and she often fondly competed for Yard of the Week with her good friends and neighbors, Glenn and Monica. She also loved to golf, boat, snow ski, and travel the world with her friends.  Just last April, Merry and a good friend traveled to Hawaii where she swam and snorkeled in the Pacific Ocean.

Merry was also a loving and giving person who cherished children.  She always remembered the birthdays and holidays of her nieces and nephews and passed on wisdom and strength every time she met them.

Family and friends who knew Merry recognized in her a very spiritual and faithful person who did not preach but showed by example how to live a full life of love, goodness, and redemption.  Without a whimper or complaint, she fought for every ounce of life God would grant her and left with a smile on her face having gotten back home and saying goodbye on her own terms.



  • Glenn and Jan Swoboda Posted October 7, 2019 12:22 pm

    So sorry to hear Merry passed away. She was a great person and friend. Worked with her at Skaggs and Osco. All her family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Donna Hoover Posted October 7, 2019 3:03 pm

    Merry was my ole tennis buddy, Man could she hit the ball. So sorry to hear this news. She graduated from Creighton and was very dedicated pharmacist . Always so professional to her patients. RIP my friend.

  • The Rathi Family Posted October 7, 2019 4:48 pm

    Merry’s bright smile and personality will be dearly missed. I’m still in shock to find out she has left us. She was my preceptor, mentor, and good friend who would always send my family cards on what she was doing. I hope she’s playing golf, skiing, and boating up there. 😘😇❤️

  • Steven Grunberg Posted October 7, 2019 10:27 pm

    As a member of the Omaha Ski Club, our club remembers the many ski trips we enjoyed with Merry. She was a good snow skier and a fun partier.

  • Edward ramold Posted October 7, 2019 11:18 pm

    Mary was wonderful. My wife, Marcy worked with Mary in the pharmacy at Osco Drug in Omaha. No matter how busy Mary was and she always seem to be very busy she always made time for you. She really cared about people. I know that Marcy thought the world of her as well. I was honored that she was able to attend our wedding and participate I have many pictures of her and Marcy together where she is putting the finishing touches on her dress. I am very sorry for your loss.

  • Jim and Barb Flowers Posted October 8, 2019 1:37 am

    Rest in peace Merry, til we meet again. Heaven is for real!

  • Jim and Jeanean Morris Posted October 8, 2019 5:24 am

    Merry, it was only a few weeks ago we were sitting at Surfside having a beer. Your smile and laugh will be dearly missed by all of us. We have so many great memories. RIP our friend.

  • Victoria Vinton Posted October 8, 2019 8:20 am

    To Merry’s family and friends – Omaha lost a great professional, avid sports enthusiast, and friend. Merry was a lot of fun on the tennis court and hit a mean ball! We loved to tease each other!

  • Margaret Jurgensen Posted October 8, 2019 4:29 pm

    My condolences to the family of Merry Johnson, I have many fond memories of Merry and some fun trips to Colorado. God Bless her and keep her.

  • Kelley Donovan Doyle Posted October 9, 2019 9:56 am

    I knew Mary through my sister Marcy. After Marcy moved, Mary continued to stay in touch and we became good friends. She was also our pharmacist when we bought our first house close to Osco. She was a phone call away anytime I had any questions about my children’s health. Or any family member. ALWAYS a loving, caring person. Loved her deeply.

  • Paul Kinney and Family Posted October 10, 2019 5:39 pm

    Mary was in part of the Kinney family for many
    Years. She was always kind and giving. All the birthdays and special family gatherings ,,, Mary was there. She will be missed!
    A very special person,,,,, She is with God now ! Bless her!

  • The Mendlik Family Posted October 11, 2019 7:35 pm

    All our love from the Mendlik family. Merry was Sandy’s mentor at Osco and that started a lifelong friendship filled with boating and happy times together. Their friendship was never questioned. We loved having Merry join us in our family nights out and even joined us for the Rockettes. She will be greatly missed by us all. Rest well skiing down heavens best mountains!

  • Monica & Glenn Judevine Posted October 11, 2019 9:55 pm

    There are no words that will take away the pain from the void that will now occur in every life she touched … Friends are Family that God allows us to choose, so many people claim you as family… You were special.. You are loved and will be missed but never forgotten… ❤️
    I ❣️ Merry
    Monica Judevine & Family

  • Russ and Fran Anderson Posted October 14, 2019 10:09 am

    Before we moved away, about nine years ago, we lived across the street from Merry on Paul Plaza in the Eldorado neighborhood. She was a great neighbor and kept her house and yard looking A+. In fact, she was the kind of neighbor I wish we could clone because she was the exception and not the rule. We had many pleasant conversations when we were out in our yard. God bless her soul and also here family and friends who acutely feel her loss. Now she enjoys a wonderful new adverture with the King of the Universe.

  • Sandra Pranger Posted October 14, 2019 10:57 am

    You taught me the true meaning of friendship which is affection, loyalty, love, respect and trust. You also taught me to be thankful for each day. I will cherish all the wonderful times we shared together. I will always be grateful to you for being Mark and I’s matchmaker. I will always love you Mer and I shall never forget you, my dear Best Friend!!!

  • Peggy Teplitsky Posted October 14, 2019 1:40 pm

    My deepest sympathies to Merry’s brother Mikel and his family. I am so saddened by Merry’s passing. She was such a good friend whom I will greatly miss.

  • Sandy Watson & Family Posted October 14, 2019 6:18 pm

    Merry and I met our freshman year in college and remained life long friends. We basically grew up together sharing first loves, travel adventures, & the joys of life. She was the sister I never had & an aunt to my girls. I miss her laugh, her wink & smile, and forever encouraging words. Even at the end her words were , “Get after it Sands. Live it up”. May we all be so blessed to have a friend like Merry.

  • Mark Pranger Posted October 14, 2019 9:14 pm

    It’s impossible to put into words how special Merry was to all who came into her life. She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a neighbor, a mentor and a co-worker. But above all she defined what it is to be a friend, one who always put the needs and wishes of others above their own. As a young couple just starting our lives after college Merry was that special force that brought us together. And helped show us the measure of your happiness is in how high you can lift someone else. So until we meet again, we love and miss you…

  • Bob and Diane Anderson Posted October 15, 2019 1:31 pm

    We have lived close to Merry on Paul Plaza in El Dorado for many years! I do believe that Merry was the hardest working person that I have ever met! She always kept her home and yard spotless and she was a wonderful neighbor! She will be truly missed by everyone in the neighborhood. Our sincere prayers and condolences to all her family and friends.

  • Don and Sally Hammond Posted October 15, 2019 3:49 pm

    We are so sorry of Merry’s passing. She was the kindest and most thoughtful persons we have ever met. We enjoyed many ski trips and ski club functions with her. She was a great skier and so much fun to be around. She also loved the beach and water. She celebrated with us at our destination wedding in Jamaica. RIP sweet Merry. I know you are making from runs in fresh powder and snorkeling and playing the sand. You will be missed. Prayers to the family and we are sorry we are unable to attend her celebration of life. 🙏🏻

  • Jay Mendlik Posted October 17, 2019 9:09 am

    My condolences to Merry’s family. Merry, you were a great friend to my sister Sandy! When I first met you, you accepted me as if I were part of your family! You always had a smile on your face, that was contagious! Thank you for your loyalty to my sister and your lifelong friendship! May you RIP. God Bless!

  • Pamela and Keith Pick Posted November 5, 2019 4:21 pm

    We only knew Merry from Baker’s Pharmacy but came to know and trust her as our “pharmacist.” Always with a smile on her face, she was happy to listen to our questions and share her vast knowledge of pharmaceuticals. We were so concerned when we could tell that she was not well and that was heightened when she was gone from the store from time to time. We saw her after her trip to Hawaii and were heartened that she had taken the trip and so hoped that meant good things for her future. How sad we are to learn of her passing. We did not know her personally but we felt as though we were “friends.” God’s peace to her family. Her passing made an impression on us; Merry was a good, kind, and caring person. RIP Merry. You are missed.

  • Mike Lange Posted December 8, 2019 9:00 pm

    I was the delivery guy for Osco/Baker’s from 99′ to 08′ and that is where I met Merry. I was very sad to hear of her passing, she was always so friendly and helpful to me. My condolences to all that loved Merry and to those that miss her. See you on the side Merry!

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