KLEM-JOHNSTON, Lisa

Our mother and grandmother “Bedste” Lisa Klem-Johnston passed away on June 21, 2022. She was 88.

She was born in Denmark and vividly remembered spring days and bike rides in the country. Recalling her childhood, she remembered the German soldiers occupying Denmark during World War II. She remembered the 10 years she cared for her brother Lief, who was injured in an accident and died as a young 23-year-old. She remembered the exciting journey to Canada with her sister Betty, aboard the luxury Cunard Line Stavangerfjord in 1954, followed by the long train ride across Canada to Irma Alberta, where her father Viggo had reconnected with his brother Bob.

Her life was a service to others. Her first job in Canada was caring for 2 young boys. A few years later in Edmonton, Lisa studied hairdressing and opened her own successful “Chez Lisa” shop downtown. She married Nick Klem in 1960, son Doug was born, and daughter Rosanna followed. While she traded her shop in for homemaking, she continued a small and steady clientele of hairdressing clients well into her retirement years.

Lisa was quick to volunteer for the community league, sew figure skating costumes for Rosanna, or tend gates on the ski hill when Doug raced. She loved to entertain and share Danish food with her guests. Christmas was always a major family production! She had a flair for the arts, including painting, singing, dancing and a passion for playing the mandolin. She performed with the St. Nicholas Mandolin Ensemble for many of her senior years.

Nick passed away in 1992 after a lengthy battle with cancer with Lisa by his side. Eventually she met John Johnston and they married in 1997 and began a second life of travel – to London, Denmark, Hawaii, Spain, Florida, the Caribbean and throughout Canada. John suffered a stroke and Lisa cared for him for 3 years before his passing in 2011.

She would greet her family on the phone with “This is Your Bedste calling from outer space,” to the delight of grandkids Alyx, Alissa, Deanna (of Doug and Karin) and Matthew, Erik, Katrina, and Simon (of Rosanna and Ken).

While her memories of today began to fade in her later years, her recollections of her earlier life were always bright and a regular topic of conversation. As many immigrants experience, our mother’s hard work, love, sorrow, and joy brought us a wonderful and rich life. We will always have a place in our heart for Bedste, she will be deeply missed.

A memorial service will be held on July 12, 2022, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Edmonton at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to West Country Hearth and directed to Harmony Haven (her wonderful home for the past 4 years).

Serenity Funeral Service – South
780 450 0101

Location information

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Memorial Service
Calvary Lutheran Church

10815-76 Avenue Edmonton AB CA

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Valerie Billey and family

Doug, Rosanna, and families,
Our heartfelt sympathy in the passing of your dear mother, grandmother and great grandmother. May your cherished memories of Lisa comfort you in the difficult days ahead.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Valerie Billey and family

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