Saturday, 15 October 2011

Marlene Gertrude Johnson 16.02.1940 - 15.10.1987

She was the daughter of a fisherman who was the son of a Swede who jumped from a ship when 14 years old and settled in Albany Western Australia.  At 21 years of age she had 3 children and for many years was a single mum bringing up 3 girls on her own, this was in the 60's and not an easy situation to be in.

I think some how she expected more out of her life than she perhaps ended up with.  

 But she certainly gave it a good go, with 3 marriages under her belt before she died. 

Perhaps she wasn't the best at making the right choices for herself in men and maybe this trait was passed down to her daughters, who also have been separated/divorced.  However she was a very determined, spirited, tenacious woman, dependable, hardworking and a dedicated mother which are other admirable qualities her girls also inherited.

At times she worked 3 jobs to support her children, and often had to lie to rental agents that she had 1 child instead of 3 to rent a home for them.  There was no single parent pension then and there was certainly a stigma to being a single mother in those days, one that I think she felt quite acutely hence the 3 marriages.

24 years ago today at the age of 47, my mother Marlene Gertrude Johnson died of cancer. 
She died not long after I had my 4th baby and my sister had just had her 3rd.  She never got to meet my younger sister's daughter who was born 11 years later.  Only the 3 eldest of her 8 grandchildren children remember her, they were 6 and 7 years old when she died.  As a grandmother now myself I think of her often and wish she had been around longer to know her grandchildren and perhaps have had the chance to meet her great grandchild.

In recent years I have undertaken quite a bit of family history research as I knew very little of either side of my family and now have built up quite a good tree of family knowledge so that grandchildren and great grandchildren will know their lines of ancestry.

 3 girls are thinking of their mum today!


  1. A Beautiful memorium to your mum Vicki. She sounds like a strong, capable woman, I can see where you got your courage and determination from. The photos are fantastic too! thank you for sharing part of your mum's story.

  2. Yes I was thinking of her yesterday!

    Elliot and Bianca also have lovely memories of their grandmother.

    Still miss her....

  3. Very nice post, your mother was beautiful.

    By odd coincidence today (October 16) is the 11th anniversary of my mother's death. She was also a single mother back in the day. I have had many things much easier than she did.

  4. I have Vivid memories of Marlene which I cherish close to my heart. I feel as though she is still part of us today whether it is through the family traits we inherit or as if she is looking over. I think her inspiration has been passed onto you mum, which is something I always look up to. xx