She was a VISTA volunteer where she identified Sweet Home and surrounding area senior citizens and assessed their needs. Sara was the first director of the Sweet Home Senior Center and began the SHARE bus (Bill and Sara came up with the name Sweet Home Area Rides for the Elderly (SHARE)). She was a small business owner providing 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, Washington Dog Show in 1972 or 1973.
Sara volunteered a great deal. Prior to her involvement with the Senior Center, Sara served as a Precinct Worker for many years. She continued to volunteer her time with Sweet Home Senior Center after retirement and was 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. Sara was a friend in deed to a friend in need.
Sara 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. Sara 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. Sara taught herself how to administer health care 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. She 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 several 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 life-long goal of turning Trails End Ranch into a “site to behold.”
She is survived by children Stephen M. Johnson of Sweet Home, Geoffrey W. A. Johnson of Redmond, Washington, Heather E. Johnson of Foster, Christopher J. Johnson of Centralia, Washington, and Virginia J. Cotter of Sweet Home; 15 grandchildren; and 32 great-grandchildren.
Sara 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 and potluck reception is planned for Friday, July 20, 1:00–3:00 p.m., at Trail's End Ranch, 45265 Sunnyside Road, Foster, Oregon.
Memorial contributions can be made in Sara's name to Jim Riggs Community (Senior) Center for Sweet Home United Methodist Church.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.