Antique Vintage 08

Orletha Johnson

June 8, 1942 ~ January 14, 2021 (age 78)


The family of Orletha May (Holzapfel) Johnson share she has been released from her earthly bonds to be at home with Christ on January 14, 2021.

Orletha was born on June 8, 1942 to George W. Holzapfel and Leta E. (Shepard) Holzapfel in Concordia, Kansas as the second child of four. During her youth, her family lived in north central Kansas in Delphos, Glasco, and Miltonvale. They moved to Ottawa in 1954. She graduated from Ursuline Academy, Paola, Kansas in May 1961.

She married Emil E. Johnson on November 9, 1962.  Three children were born to this union; Alan Johnson, Julie (Johnson) Zule, and Laurie (Johnson) Folsom.

She worked as a nurse’s aide before becoming a homemaker when her children were born. After her husband became ill and their children were still at home, she worked at Bendix King Radio (Honeywell) for more than 25 years until her retirement.

Orletha, also known as “Aunt May” to many family and friends, was a selfless caregiver. She was a lifelong member of Faith Lutheran Church where she served by providing meals to others, quilting and as church board secretary. She belonged to neighborhood organizations when her children were small.

After retirement she enjoyed time with her children and grandchildren who brought her joy.

She is survived by: three children and their partners; Colleen Maslak, Duane Zule, and Ernie Folsom; four grandchildren, Matthew Zule (his fiance Noelle Prideaux), Zachary Zule (his fiance Rebecca Nowlan), Ashton Folsom (her fiance Remington Walters), and Renna Folsom; her brother, LaVern Holzapfel; sister, Rose Laster; and many nephews and nieces including Cloe Everhart who she viewed as an additional daughter. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Opal Boone.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, private services will be held.  Burial at Highland Cemetery will follow.  A celebration of Orletha’s life will occur at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Alan B. Johnson trust sent c/o Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may be sent to the family through

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