Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented

Connections. Advocacy. Resources. Equity. Support.

Betty Johnson – “Grandmother of Gifted Education in Minnesota”

MCGT is deeply saddened by the loss of Betty Johnson, who served MCGT and the gifted community in Minnesota for over 50 years.

Via Star Tribune 

Johnson, Elizabeth G. “Betty” age 86, of Minnetonka, died peacefully on October 22 surrounded by her loving family. She will be deeply missed by a multitude of people whom she touched over the past 60 years, playing leadership roles in many local, regional, and state organizations and making lives of countless people better. With her endless knowledge of world and current events, she would have bankrupted Jeopardy had she been a contestant.

Most of all, her passion to create opportunities for children now and for future generations marked her as an extraordinary human being.

She was the first woman to serve on the Minnetonka Village / City Council and was named the city’s official historian.

Her many activities included Minnetonka Historical Society (founder), Music Association of Minnetonka, Wayzata Unitarian Universalist Church, West Suburban YMCA, Hennepin County Bicentennial, Minnesota Zoo, League of Women Voters, Camp Fire, American Field Service (AFS), MN Alliance of Arts in Education, Perpich Center for Arts Education, Child’s Play Theater / Stages (founder), Youth Performance Company (co-founder), Odyssey of the Mind / Destination Imagination, Hopkins School District, ISD 287, West Suburban Summer School (founder and director), State Dept. of Education Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented.

Betty is regarded as the “Grandmother of Gifted Education in Minnesota.”

Survived by her husband of 68 years Robert G. “Bob” Johnson, children: Burgess Johnson (Julie), Diane Erdmann (John), Laura “Janey” Westin, Wendy Johnson, Miriam Johnson-Dunkirk (Paul), grandchildren: Silas Johnson, Gretchen “Ashley” Johnson, Saleha Erdmann, Daniel Erdmann, Laura Mandell, James Westin, Michael Westin, Ryan Skinner, Eli Skinner, Sula Dunkirk, Leo Dunkirk, stepdaughter Rachel Ballard, and 7 great grandchildren.

Memorial service Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Minnetonka Community Center. Private interment Groveland Cemetery. Memorials to the Betty Johnson Scholarship Fund, Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented at mcgt.net/betty or 5701 Normandale Rd, Suite 315, Edina, MN 55424.