Mothers of our Community: Spotlight on Beth
Beth Johnston by her daughter, Cheryl Hanssen:
My mom will be celebrating her 62nd year as a mother. Our family includes three kids, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. My favorite memory of Mom was her driving the car with the radio blaring next to my brother Mike so he could run to the music while conditioning for high school wrestling! This was long before any type of technology we have today! She was the best Mom in my neighborhood growing up. All of the neighborhood kids loved her and called her the “Bambino.” She would take up to 12 of us in one car to the Newton skating rink. There are many stories we could tell about her!
Mom and I enjoy spending time together. It doesn’t matter what we do—she just enjoys being part of it! She does like a game of dominoes with the grandkids. Mom always made the best Sunday lunch of roast, potatoes and carrots. We had tomato soup and grilled cheese for Sunday supper while we watched Walt Disney together as a family. Mom taught me how to be (I hope) the best grandma “Modee” I can be. She never missed an event or a chance to say “I love you” or “I’m proud of you.” She was my biggest cheerleader. She must have dstraveled thousands of miles over the years with all of our sporting events including wrestling, football, track, cheerleading, speech, theatre and horse shows to mention a few, and she even traveled to Wyoming multiple times.
When not supporting her children and grandchildren, Mom loved to spend time with Dad. She was quite content to just be his co-pilot and later in life, the pilot. I cannot imagine how many miles they traveled together vacationing to some of the most wonderful places. For short trips, it was always a gun show where Dad would shop and Mom would read a book patiently waiting for him. For 60 years they did everything together. They were each other’s best friends. She always laughed when Dad would sing one-liners to her or he would look around like he couldn’t see her and say, “Beth, where did you go?” Then he would say, “Oh, there you are” because she had gotten so short! My mom rarely gets mad and that is a good thing!
After Dad passed away from COVID complications, it was a lot for all of us to work through but in true form, Mom remained strong and a lot of the time she comforted us. She is a very strong woman. I am thankful for my sister Cindy who has spent many nights as her Hallmark movie partner, as well as The Voice and American Idol team, and for all of her kids and grandkids who visit her. She is loved by so many people and we are really proud of her. We think she’s the best mom, grandma and great-grandma around. I don’t know a stronger woman and she still has the desire to live as much life as she can. This last year we traveled together as families to Colorado and Mom wanted to go horseback riding just months post hip replacement. We talked her out of that, but she did go river rafting!