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Erna Johnston 1

In Loving Memory

Johnston, Erna Marie (nee Hager)

November 11, 1926 - November 22, 2023

Erna Marie Johnston passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in Fenton, MO on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.  She had just celebrated her 97th birthday with family and friends on November 11, 2023.

Erna was born to Simon and Helen (Hotop) Hager on November 11, 1926, in Perryville, MO.  Simon and Helen had 5 children, Simon, Leroy, Norma, Mary, and Erna.  Erna was the youngest and loved telling stories from her childhood that included her dog, Scout, and her love of riding horses on their farm.

She hadn’t finished high school yet when she decided to move to St. Louis to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone.  She met the love of her life, Homer, when introduced by mutual friends.  My dad knew right away that Erna was the one for him and they married on February 15, 1947 at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in St. Louis, MO.  Erna quit her job at the telephone company to travel with Homer during his baseball days.

As they started their family, they returned to St. Louis where Erna began her career at The Grove Company in Webster Groves, MO, a high-end sportswear line that had a large presence in Texas and New York.  She soon became Office Manager and oversaw the functions of the manufacturing department, eventually moving to managing the company’s customer service department.  Their competitor, Intuitions, lured her away and this time it was Homer’s turn to follow Erna as they moved to New Jersey.  She retired from Intuitions, returning to St. Louis, MO.

Homer and Erna had been married 75 years when he passed on November 2, 2022. Erna is survived by her daughter, Karen, and son-in-law, Joe Staten.  She is preceded in death by her sons, Kevin, Bruce and Brian Johnston, and daughter, Nancy Sandlin Barr, and siblings Simon, Leroy, Norma and Mary and their spouses.  She is survived by 4 grandchildren, Katie Feldmeier, Greg Staten, Pam (Greg) Reece, and Grace Brown, 6 great-grandchildren, Andrew Feldmeier, Daniel Feldmeier, Jessi (Scott) Friese, Jacob Brown, Liam Reece and Lilly Reece, and 1 great-great-grandchild, Cayden Friese.  She loved her grand-dogs, with Cooper and Gio predeceasing her and survived by Cole (her favorite).

Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Kutis Funeral Home, 10151 Gravois, St. Louis, MO.  Visitation and Service will be held Tuesday, November 28, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Dietrich-Mothershead Funeral Home, 220 N. Main Street, DeSoto, MO, with the interment immediately following at Calvary Cemetery in DeSoto, MO.


2 thoughts on “Johnston, Erna Marie (nee Hager)”

  1. I was so lucky to have Erna and Homer in my life as one of their caretaker! They both brought such joy , happiness and laughter in my life !
    I considered both of them as a another set of parents and I love and miss them so very much! They are now reunited as one and can continue their journey together in peace with the lord almighty in heaven ! They
    both will forever have a special place in my heart always! ❤️
    My hearts aches for the family and for all that new them.
    Dede Halloran

  2. Aunt Erna was always full of family history and fun to be with. She had a great smile and a better laugh. She was the maid of honor at my Mom’s wedding I have a great picture. We stayed in touch and visited when we could over the years. Always stayed in touch by cards and phone calls. I think she liked the silly Valentine’s cards the most.
    Aunt Erna was the last surviving child of Simon and Helen Hager. On that side of the family, Victor Hager, Paul Hager and Jay Hager survive in Bakersfield, CA. (Uncle Simon [Si’s ] children & Leroy W. (Bill) Hager, last of Lee’s children in Prescott, AZ. Children and grandchildren.
    There was always so much more to talk about but no regrets. She was loved. I was so lucky to have driven back to Missouri last year to visit with her, Uncle Homer, Nancy and Karen & Joe. My prayers and thoughts are with all who knew and loved her too.


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