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Memorial Service for Lana Murle Johnson

May 5 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Lana Murle Johnson, 80, of Middleton, WI, died on April 27, 2023.

Lana was born March 14, 1943, in Burke, SD, to Orlin and Murle (Tarr) Siedenburg. She grew up on a farm near Dallas, SD, and attended a one room schoolhouse. In the winter of 1952, Lana, eight years old, was stranded alone after school on the farm when a deadly blizzard struck South Dakota. Lana demonstrated a toughness and resolve that stayed with her throughout her life, taking care of herself overnight before finding her way along a barbed wire fence to the neighbor’s house, about a one-and-a-half-mile walk, the next day as the storm subsided. Events of this story were later published in a book and magazine portraying her courage and bravery.

After graduating from Gregory High School in 1961, she went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Education in 1965, and Master of Arts from the University of South Dakota in 1970. Lana married Dennis Leigh Johnson on February 5, 1966, in Gregory, SD. The two had met on a blind date when they were both students at the University of South Dakota. Dennis, an engineer, worked for various companies including Swift & Co., Louis Rich Co. and Oscar Meyer. Lana and Dennis lived in Sioux City, IA; Grand Island, NE: Woodridge, IL; Iowa City, IA, and Middleton, WI. Throughout their journeys they felt fortunate and blessed to have met and enjoyed so many wonderful people that became lifelong friends.

Lana taught school after graduating from college until she and Dennis started a family. After having two boys, she transitioned to being a homemaker. She was devastated when Dennis died of cancer in 1987. Staying true to her toughness and resolve, Lana finished raising her two boys and worked for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District in various roles until she retired in 2003. Shortly after her retirement, she suffered a stroke. After rehabilitating from her stroke, Lana remained living independently at her condo in Oregon, WI, for several years. In 2008, she transitioned to assisted living and made her home in several facilities in Madison, Watertown and Middleton during that time. She was devoted to watching her beloved St. Louis Cardinals during the baseball season and relished a good meal with family and friends. Lana enjoyed playing bridge and was an avid reader throughout her life.

Survivors include her two sons and their wives: Randall and Tina of Watertown, WI, Spencer and Jenny of Middleton, WI; a sister, Mary (Bo) Mazzetti of Valley Center, CA, and niece, Emily and nephew, Joe Mazzetti; grandchildren: Katie, Jake, Andrew and Joseph; along with many dear in-laws, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Orlin and Murle Siedenburg; and her husband, Dennis. She also had a younger sister, Dora Ann; and a younger brother, William Boyce who died at birth.

Lana’s family would like to thank Good Shepherd Lutheran Church along with all of her caregivers for their loving support and compassion. Your care and love were truly amazing and we can’t thank you enough for all you did for Lana. The work you did, mostly when no one else was looking, will never be forgotten and will forever be cherished.


May 5
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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