Getting to know Vicki Linden

My connection to Grace Lutheran really has been lifelong.  My parents, Harry and Violet Johnson were lifelong members after their marriage in 1940.  My sister Karen Johnson Rolston was baptized by Pastor Sutherland in 1942, and I was baptized by Pastor Roger Oliver in 1946.  I attended Sunday School regularly throughout my youth.  Margaret Swanson and Edna Strom were a few of the teachers on Sunday mornings.  My mother insisted on my singing in the youth choir, which was a big mistake, because I can’t carry a tune.  My sister had all the musical talent.  She and Rianne Strom could play the pipe organ and on occasion would substitute for Mrs. Oliver when needed.  I clearly remember that beautiful, old sanctuary in that wood frame church.  In 1960 I was confirmed by Pastor Julius Peterson in the new building.  My class was the first group of confirmands to be confirmed there.  In 1967 I was married to my now ex-husband by Pastor Arne Walker.  After marrying we always attended a Lutheran Church where we lived -Geneva, Hinsdale, Elgin, Galesburg, and Madison, Wisconsin.

After high school I continued my education at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, earning a Master’s Degree at N.I.U.  I taught language arts to 7th and 8th graders off and on for 25 years.  I never regretted staying home for 11 years with my beloved boys, Chad, and Greg Johnson.  I have 3 stepchildren and 8 grandchildren.  I have helped raise the youngest Dean Johnson three days a week so that Greg and his wife Kate could continue their careers in nursing and paramedics.  Some of you will remember Chad who served on the Vision Team, and also helped Nick and Mandy get the contemporary worship service off the ground.  Our hearts remain broken since Chad’s unexpected passing at age 32 as well as losing Greg and Kate’s first born in 2014.  Losing a child and grandchild are losses a parent and grandparent never stop grieving.

My main interest outside of church and family is reading historical fiction.  Nowadays I find myself forgetting what I have read all too quickly.  I am very proud of my Swedish heritage.  All four of my grandparents emigrated from Sweden.  My keen interest in past years was Swedish genealogy.  I found the Swedish website Arkivdigital was much more accurate than Ancestry.  Using this site meant I had to learn a few basic Swedish words as it is the authentic photographic record of the books in each local parish.  My study proved rewarding as I was able to delve into some records dating back to the late 1600’s.  Other interests I have involved some adventures like snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park and fishing in Northwest Ontario and fishing for muskie on Squirrel Lake in Minocqua, Wisconsin with my husband of 24 years, Larry Linden.  Incidentally, he is a faithful parishioner in the Catholic Church.  In recent years we have given up snowmobiling and fishing and now enjoy UTVing in and around Lake Ripley at Cambridge, Wisconsin where we also enjoy pontooning all summer long.
To conclude, my life has been blessed by my faith, church, and family.  Faith, Hope, Family – these are the lifelines I hold onto.

Vicki Linden

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