Our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister passed into the arms of Jesus on the afternoon of March 3, 2018. After nearly a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, she finally got to go home. She never wanted to end up like her mother before her, but it was meant to be. She fought a hard battle and, at times, her family wondered why she had to continue the fight. But God had a plan. We don’t fully understand that plan, but we are thankful for every day we had with her.
Kaye Jane Dye Johnson was born on Aug. 28, 1931, in Deadwood, South Dakota, to her loving parents, Agnes and Max Dye. At a young age, they moved to Billings, and this is where Kaye spent her life. She attended Broadwater Elementary School and graduated from Billings Senior High in 1949.
She met Howard Johnson while they were at a roller skating rink in Billings. They were married on March 4, 1950. They raised four children in the same house on Avenue C: Doug, Penny, Tim and Peggy.
After Peggy started school, she went back to work for AT&T after taking a hiatus for a few years. She worked as a telephone operator. She worked as an operator you could talk to when you dialed “0.” In the later years, she also became a union steward and worked hard for great benefits for “her girls” at the Telephone Company.
She absolutely adored her grandchildren. Those six children were the light in her life. She didn’t get to meet her two great-granddaughters but would have loved them as well.
Her friends were so important to her. Many were lifelong friends … at least lifelong adult friends. Until she couldn’t, she would tell us stories about these ladies who were so important in her life. We thank those who continued to visit her while she was at Morning Star.
Kaye was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 65 years, Howard; and her brother, William Dye. She is survived by all four of her children, Doug, Penny Morse and husband Butch, Tim and wife Maria, Peggy Canan and husband Rob; and her grandchildren, Andy Morse and wife Katanya, Danielle Kaufman and husband Nathan, Rachel Canan, Amanda Canan and fiancé Eric, Samantha and Kylee Johnson; her great-granddaughters, Madison Kaufman and Korra Morse; and her sister, Connie Kellogg; brother Jim Dye; and many nieces and nephews.
Her family would like to thank Heidi Duncan for being the best doctor our mom could have had. You were so kind and caring even as Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed. We also want to thank each and every one at Morning Star Assisted Living, especially the Reflections Unit. You treated our mother with respect and dignity until the very end. You laughed with her, hugged her, sat with her and teased her. You were her family and you treated her as such. You became our family as well. We will always love you all.
We will have a memorial service at a later date when we can see green grass and flowers. The date will be announced. Memorials can be made to our local Alzheimer’s Association or to ZooMontana.