Obituaries & Tributes

Tribute: Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson

June 18, 1949 – Sept. 16, 2023

Susan Johnson, 74, of Cottage Grove passed away on Sept. 16, 2023. Susan was born in Yonkers, N.Y. to parents John and Doris (Caldwell) Fredericks. She grew up in Manhattan as the eldest of five children, playing stickball in the streets and roaming the woods of Inwood and Fort Tryon Parks. 

After graduating from Lakeland Senior High School in 1967, she attended Keene State College, where she received her Bachelor of Education degree in 1971. Following college, Susan traveled on the road for ten months and worked variously as a film projectionist, youth counselor, psychiatric nurses’ assistant, and wildlife rehabilitator. 

While living on a sailboat in the Caribbean, she realized she wanted to return to the trees and become a forester. She received her Master of Forestry degree from Utah State University in 1987 and spent her 25-year career working with the U.S. Forest Service in the beautiful forests of Idaho, Washington, California, and Oregon. 

Susan loved being out in nature hiking, camping, skiing, and gardening. She also loved all things related to the arts, including watercolor painting, knitting, attending the Cottage Theatre, and playing music with family and friends. 

Susan was active in the local community as well, volunteering with CASA of Lane County, Cottage Grove’s Urban Forestry Committee, and with the Earth & Social Justice Committee at the First Presbyterian Church, where she helped to establish the Cottage Village tiny homes co-op.

She married Theodore Johnson in 1989, and while remaining friends, they separated in 2009. Susan is survived by her son Erik Johnson of Cottage Grove; her daughter Andrea Lyons of East Longmeadow, Mass.; her brother John Fredericks of Buffalo, N.Y.; and her sister Janice Attanasio of Carmel, N.Y. Susan will be deeply missed by her friends and family. 

A celebration of life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Cottage Grove on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Save the Children, SquareOne Villages, or the McKenzie River Trust. Arrangements by Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel in Cottage Grove, Ore. 

Death Notices

Dickens: Bentley Blayze Keenen Dickens, 9 days old, of Springfield, Ore.  died on Sept. 19, 2023. Arrangements: Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.

Gess: Shaun Gess, 60, of Eugene, Ore. died on Sept. 18, 2023. Arrangements: Sunset Hills Funeral Home, Crematorium & Cemetery. 

Claussen: Fredrick Claussen, 72, of Eugene, Ore. died Sept. 28, 2023. Arrangements: Sunset Hills Funeral Home, Crematorium & Cemetery. 



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