Oct. 15, 1921 - March 17, 2012
NORTH PLATTE, Nebraska -- Alexia "Lexi" Johnston, 90, of North Platte, formally of Curtis, died March 17, 2012, at Centennial Retirement Village in North Platte.
Alexia "Lexi" Marie Tanberg was born Oct. 15, 1921, in Rice Lake, Wisconsin to Leonard and Lucille Steinmetz Tandberg. She graduated from Rice Lake High School and sought work in Fort Lewis, Washington, where she married James Curtis Johnston on Oct. 10, 1941. Alexia returned to Jim's hometown of Curtis Nebraska, to await his return from the war. Seven children were born to Jim and Alexia: Juanita "Nita" 1942, Mary Jean 1947, James Curtis Jr. 1948, Jerome 1950, Janet 1952, Julie 1955, and Jon 1962.
Alexia served as Cub and Girl Scout leader, and Curtis Youth Development volunteer raising funds for the tennis court. She enjoyed music and young people. Lexi was known for playing records at the 1960's summer Sock Hops. She continued collecting records and playing for dances for over 25 years. Known as the DJ "LEXI" she played both public and private functions around the area, assisted by her son Jon. She played her last dance at Jon's wedding in October 1989. Well into the 21st century she continued to amaze her grandkids and great-grandchildren with her love and knowledge of current music artists and dance. In 1968, she was chosen "Mother of the Year" by the Curtis Hi-Line Enterprise.
Lexi was a member of St. James Catholic Church for over 70 years and an Altar Society officer for 25 years.
Jim ran the S & H Market grocery store and opened Jim's Drive-In in 1963 where Alexia helped, along with their teen-age children. After Jim's death in 1974 Lexi sold the grocery store and became a businesswoman in her own right, owning Johnston Rentals and Trailer Court and selling Electrolux vacuum cleaners. In 1978, she and her son Jon remodeled the Curtis Pool Hall to become Curtis Recreation which was thoroughly enjoyed by teenagers. In 1984, she opened Lexi's Consignment shop in downtown Curtis. Lexi also cooked at Sunset Haven nursing home and Medicine Valley High School for a number of years.
A fan of lifelong learning, and an avid reader, Lexi received her first computer in 1997 to keep in touch with her children who lived in four states and overseas. Lexi never stopped learning about the world around her and challenged her family to do the same. She remained very active until a car accident shortly before her 80th birthday left her with chronic pain problems. In 2007, she moved to an assisted living facility in North Platte.
Survivors include four daughters and sons-in-law: Nita Johnston and Al Hullett, Vancouver, Washington; Mary and Lee Volkmer, Lincoln, Nebraska, Janet and Steve Fear, North Platte, Nebraska and Julie and Philip Moran, Flower Mound, Texas; three sons and daughters-in law; Jim Johnston and his best friend, Bev Lenz, Dallas, Texas, Jerome and Sheila Johnston, Austin, Texas, and Jon and Heidi Johnston, Chaska, Minnesota, 18 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Lexi is survived by sisters, Pearalee (Mahlon) Bilodeau, Shingle Springs, California and Betty Rutan, Tucson, Arizona, and her many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Darold, sister Bethel and her husband Jim.
In lieu of flowers, Alexia requested memorials be given to St. James Catholic Church in Curtis, Curtis Ambulance Fund, Curtis Community Center, or Curtis Pubic Library.
Visitation is Thursday, March 22, 2012, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Blase-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel in Curtis.
Rosary is 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2012, at St. James Catholic Church, 313 E. 6th Street in Curtis, with a gathering in the Parish Hall following.
Mass Of Christian Burial is 10 a.m. Friday, March 23, 2012 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 3301 Echo Drive in North Platte.
Burial will take place at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.blasestrauser.com.
Blase-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel of Curtis is in charge of arrangements.