Sunrise: January 24, 1930—Sunset: October 17, 2023
Born on January 24, 1930, in Duluth, Minnesota, Gertrude Honora Johnson was the fifth of six children born to Everett and Anna Lee Johnson. She graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1947, and as a young woman, she worked in the Oreck’s boutique on Superior Street.
In 1950, she met Walter Foster, Jr. through her brother Robert (“Bunky”). Due to Walter being on active military duty, much of their courtship consisted of the letters they wrote to each other.
They were married at St. Mark AME Church in Duluth on September 15, 1951, and they were blessed with three children. Gertrude and Walter were married for 60 years until Walter’s passing in 2012.
Gertrude had a wonderful flair for fashion, be it in the sketches she drew, her wardrobe, and her expertise in the art of “press and curl.” She loved gardening, specializing in the care of African violets.
She was a member of the Friday Night Out Club, a social club for Black women in the Twin Cities. In service, Gertrude sang in the St. James AME (St. Paul) choir, and she served in its kitchen ministry, as well as her ties to St. Peter’s AME. And let us not forget her sense of humor as she regaled us with stories of growing up in Duluth.
Gertrude Johnson Foster made her peaceful transition at sunset on October 17, 2023.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Everett and Anna Lee Johnson; her husband Walter Foster, Jr.; her brothers Everett Johnson, Jr. (Joanne), Robert “Bunky” Johnson (Doris), and Maxell Johnson; and her sister Maxine Johnson Taylor (Paul).
She is survived by her sister Anna Johnson McClinton; her sons W.D. Foster-Graham (Edward) and Arthur Foster (Shelly); her daughter Ruth Foster; her grandson Walter Foster-Graham; her sister-in-law Ellen Dorsey Johnson; and a host of nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, and family friends.
Her celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 4, at St. Peter’s AME Church, 401 E. 41st Street, Minneapolis. Visitation is at 10 a.m.; the service is at 11 a.m. To honor her flair for fashion, the family is requesting that everyone wear red.
Rest in peace, rest in power. May your creativity, positivity, and love continue on in us.