Happy 98th Birthday to My Second Grade Teacher

I want to wish a very special 98th birthday to my second grade teacher, Meredith Johnson, born August 8, 1913.

I met “Mrs. Johnson” in 1961, when she was a young 48 and I was just 7 years old. She taught me at Rockwood Grade School in Portland, Oregon. (That's me in the back row of the picture, circled.) I vividly remember her as a very kind and encouraging teacher. She affirmed me and believed in me, and made me feel like I could be a good student. She and my mother Lucille became friends.

Meredith ad Evar JohnsonI had lost track of her, but probably twenty years ago Mrs. Johnson came across one of my books and got in contact with me. We’ve exchanged notes from time to time over the years. She would always update me on her beloved husband Evar. They were married on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1937. I called her recently, after learning Evar had died. In February they celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.

Meredith Johnson has four children, eleven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren. She is much-loved.  

I love you too, Mrs. Johnson. Thanks for investing in my life, and for being so kind and encouraging to me when I became your student, exactly 50 years ago next month. You showed me the power a teacher has to influence a young life.

I’m so thankful you love Jesus and trust Him for your salvation. I look forward to seeing you in the presence of our Lord and Savior. If you get there first, please tell my mom I really miss her, and I can’t wait to see her again.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries