Obituary of Lori Beth Johnson
Lori Beth Johnson, a teacher at Lexington Christian Academy, passed away suddenly on Wednesday night, November 7, 2018. She was 53 years old. Lori was born in Paterson, New Jersey. She was one of 3 children born to Barbara and Reverend Stanley VanderKlay. At a very early age, Lori and her family’s life revolved around their faith. Her father was the pastor of Northside Community Chapel, and her mother working side by side him. After graduating from Eastern Christian High School, Lori went off to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she earned a Degree in Education. She was the third generation of VanderKlays to attend the small Christian College. And much later, her 3 children would make the fourth generation of Calvin attendees. Calvin’s motto is “My heart I offer to you Lord, promptly and sincerely” and something Lori believed and acted upon throughout her life. She earned her Master’s Degree in Technology in Education at Lesley University. Lori found a home at Park Street Church in Boston to deepen and express her faith. She would meet her future husband, Paul, at a Wednesday night young adults ministry in 1990. They were married in 1992 at the Park Street Church and have remained faithful members ever since. Lori’s fingerprints have been all over the church and its ministries. She sang in the choir, was a member of the Women’s Book Club, and along with her husband taught a class called “Honeymooners” for newly married couples. She had a large circle of church friends whom she loved to spend time with and vacation together. She believed in Christ’s teachings especially the most important commandments of “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind and “to love your neighbor as yourself”. She lived her life by living out those teachings, treating others with love, and giving thanks to the Lord for the gifts He has given to her and her family.
Lori was a longtime teacher at the Lexington Christian Academy. She first joined the English Department in 1986 and was a full-time teacher until 1995. She started H.O.W. (Helping our World). After staying home for 12 years to raise her 3 children, she rejoined Lexington Christian Academy as a fulltime middle school language arts teacher. She was currently the Department Head of the Middle School English and Language Arts Department. She was a spiritual and passionate teacher, who worked to open the minds to her students to not only English, literature, creative writing, but social justice within society. She considered herself a lifelong learner. She regularly attended the bi-yearly “Festival of Faith and Writing” at Calvin College She was the recent recipient of the LCA’s Koop’s Chair Award.
Lori was a woman who was devoted to her family. She was devoted daughter to her parents. She truly appreciated the strong foundation of faith and family they instilled in her. She was a loving wife to her husband, Paul, for 26 years. Their marriage was one of love and devotion to each other. She was a proud, caring, and supportive mother to her 3 children. She shared with her children the same values, beliefs, and faith that her parents had imparted in her. She was so proud to see them become young adults with strong principles and faith. Her family will hold the memories of the family summer vacations spent camping at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire. They will remember her delicious culinary creations, her incredible homemade hot fudge, warmth and hospitality to family and friends, and her unselfish and unconditional love she showered upon them during their entire lives. Her sudden passing is difficult to accept, but they are comforted to know her faith is complete as she meets her Savior, Christ Jesus.
Lori was the beloved wife of R. Paul Johnson. She was the loving mother of Lars, Alexandra & Annika Johnson all of Burlington. She was the devoted daughter of Barbara A. (Osterman) VanderKlay of Whitinsville and the late Rev. Stanley J. VanderKlay. She was the sister of Ruth Huizenga & her husband Tom of Thompson, CT and Rev. Paul VanderKlay & his wife Chandra of Sacramento, CA. She was the daughter-in-law of Ruth Johnson of Hanson and the late P. Roger Johnson and sister-in-law of Charlotte Johnson of Plymouth.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128/95 Woburn side) on Sunday Nov. 11 from 2-6 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at Grace Chapel, 59 Worthen Rd, Lexington on Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Relatives & friends respectfully invited to attend. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers memorials in Lori’s name may be made to Lexington Christian Academy, 48 Bartlett Ave., Lexington, MA 02420 For directions
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050