Cover photo for Ila Johnson's Obituary
1939 Ila 2023

Ila Johnson

September 2, 1939 — July 30, 2023

Ila Bernetta (Brekke) Johnson, 83 of Winona, MN passed away on July 30, 2023. She was born on September 2, 1939, to Bert and Gena (Anderson) Brekke in Blair, WI. When Ila was 6 years old the Brekke family moved to Winona, MN where she later graduated from Winona Senior High School in 1957 with honors, and played on the Women's High School Basketball team.

After graduating High School, Ila was offered a job at First National Bank in Winona for a bank teller position. She accepted the job and worked there for many years. After many promotions she worked her way up to the accounting department. Ila met her husband Ray Johnson at a roller-skating rink near Winona. Quickly to make a date with Ila; Ray asked Ila out for the "next weekend," when Ray came to pick up Ila, her dad said she was out with another guy, as she thought that their date was for the following weekend. It was an entire year before he asked her out again! They got married in August of 1961 and were happily married and started a family together.

In 1962, Ila and Ray moved to a farm in Stockton Valley, Minnesota and together raised their three wonderful children. While the children went to school, Ila was involved with the Grace Lutheran Church in Stockton, volunteering at various community events, and helping in the classrooms at her kids' school. She kept very active, but in her free time she enjoyed golfing, bowling, and playing cards with friends and relatives. She enjoyed tending to her numerous flower gardens, cooking, and most importantly; being a loving mother.

Once all of her children graduated high school, Ila went back to school to get her realtor's license. She worked as a realtor for over 30 years and was one of the top performers in the city.

Ila had a wonderful sense of humor, she was very loving, generous, kind, and she adored her grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends.

Ila is survived by her children, Karla (Brett Koplin) Johnson, Victoria Johnson, Eric (Kristy) Johnson; her cat, Elsa; grandchildren, John (Zoey) Koplin, Eva Koplin, Siri Koplin, Morgan (Emmett) Johnson, Reis Johnson, Caden Johnson; sister-in-law, Judy (Ralph) Osborne; sister, Gloria Brekke; sister-in-law, Deborah Brekke; and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ray; siblings, Wayne (Ruth) Anderson, Thomas (Geri) Brekke, Adeline (Carl) Martinovich, Beverly (Curt) Krause, Lorraine (Bob) Gunner, Merlin Brekke; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Reid (Arlas) Johnson.

A special thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Home Instead and a special thank you to Kristy Johnson and Ila's grandchildren for the wonderful daily care over the last 4 years, allowing her to enjoy the last years at home, on the farm that she truly loved.

Visitation for Ila will be on Friday, August 4, 2023 at Hoff Celebration on Life Center in Goodview, MN from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Ila will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, MN.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 4, 2023

9:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 4, 2023

11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)

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