She was born in Marlin (Krupp), WA on May 7, 1917 to Charlotte and Grover James.
She grew up first in Marlin and then in Orient, WA, where she met her first husband, J. Hartvig (“Hart”) Peterson.
In 1936, they were married in Spokane, WA.
Sadly, Hartvig succumbed to tuberculosis in 1945 in Spokane, WA.
Zella married Howard Johnson in 1957.
Together they owned a construction company specializing in building condominiums and apartments for which Zella enjoyed doing interior decorating.
Zella worked as a bookkeeper for a north Spokane grocery store, a hardware store and then finally, for their construction company.
She loved crafting, doing needlework and ceramics, cooking, writing poetry and feeding wild animals and birds.
She enjoyed the peace of living near forested areas that afforded her the pleasure of observing God’s beautiful creation.
She adored little children and was in her glory whenever in their company.
Zella (lovingly nicknamed “Pinky”) was gentle, kind, caring, soft-spoken, and gracious ~ a beautiful lady inside and out.
She always wore a smile; never spoke ill of others; and was adored by all who knew her.
Her humble life illustrated the verse of Scripture: …whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise think on these things.
(Philippians 4:8 KJV) Zella was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Johnson (and his sister, Eileen Simpson); sisters Zenna James, Vida Blackstone and Elaine Emmel; and brother, Dayl W. James.
She is survived by her brother, Brainard W. James of Enterprise, OR; her sister, Leola Grace of Liberty Lake, WA; and several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all those who so lovingly cared for Zella in her final years.
She loved and appreciated each one.
Though we will miss Zella greatly, we find solace and joy in knowing she’s dancing through Heaven’s fields of flowers with Jesus and all her loved ones who preceded her to that glorious place of eternal bliss.
Grief stricken following Hartvig’s death in 1945, Zella penned the following poem which is engraved on Hart’s memorial monument in Colville, WA: When we asunder part, It give us inward pain.
But we shall still be joined in heart, And hope to meet again.
Good night, sweet Zella Charlotte.
Thanks for putting a face on Jesus.
We’ll see you in the morning In the Sweet By and By.
(There will be no memorial service for Zella.
Burial is at Newport Cemetery; Newport, WA.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Salvation Army.)