Arline Johnson

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Arline Johnson passed away peacefully, March 12, 2023 in St. Joseph, Mich.

Arline was born in Van Buren, Jan. 21, 1930, raised in Lewiston, and started her family with Phillip Foster in Augusta. The family moved to Kalamazoo, Mich. in the 1970s.

In addition to raising her three children, Karen Knuth (Mike) of St. Joseph, Mich., Matthew Foster (Teri) of Stuarts Draft, Va., and Stephen Foster (Debi), Walpole, Mass., she began her volunteering “career”, for the Borgess Hospital Service League, eventually becoming president. As her children went off to college, Arline worked for the City of Kalamazoo as administrative assistant to the city manager where she gave tours of city hall and was an ambassador to all who visited. She retired after 20 years of service, but she never slowed down. It was her nature to be active and to serve the people of her community.

Arline started and ran the Dove’s Nest, a small gift shop at her parish, St. Thomas More. She traveled to Haiti, Mexico and the Appalachian region to assist those who lacked proper housing and nutrition. She volunteered at the Alfond Center for Cancer Care, in Augusta and the West Michigan Cancer Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. providing comfort and care to patients and their families, an act of love which captures the essence of her character. She volunteered her time wherever and whenever she could until she was over 90 years old.

Some of the best years of her life were spent in Port Clyde where she moved in 2003 to marry and enjoy life on the coast of Maine with her husband, William “Treby” Johnson who passed away in 2009. She moved back to Kalamazoo, Mich. soon after.

Arline was a prolific walker, twice covering the Kal-Haven trail, end to end. She was raised to speak French, and frequently used it in her world travels with Treby and to communicate with her siblings. Arline was always friendly, warm, kind, compassionate, outgoing optimistic, had a wonderful sense of humor, and made everyone she met feel important. A very strong, resilient woman who set great examples for her children and all who met her throughout her life.

In addition to her children, she is survived by seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Arline will be laid to rest in Augusta, beside her beloved Treby.

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