Muriel Johnson (nee Barton) was born in Fernie in 1913 and died there in the early morning hours of November 7, 2010.
Muriel was predeceased by her husband, Samuel, in 1990. She is survived, and sorely missed, by her children: David Johnson, Margaret (Chris) Osborne, and Jennifer Nicklason; Grandchildren: David, Jon, Trevor and Karen; and five Great Grandchildren.
Muriel was only three years old when her mother, Florrie Barton, died. Consequently she was sent to Lancashire, England to live with relatives. There she received her elementary/secondary education at St. Catherine’s and postsecondary education at Wigan Technical College followed by training in photography at Foley’s (large portrait and commercial photographers in England). She then rejoined her father in Fernie but soon felt compelled to return to England and was there when war with Germany began. She served in the Photographic Section of the RAF at an airbase in Norfolk, close to the east coast of England. It was during this time that she met and married her husband, Samuel.
In 1954 Muriel moved back to Fernie, bringing her husband and three children with her. She assumed ownership of Barton Studio which was then owned and operated by her father, Thomas Barton. For almost two decades Muriel filled many of the photographic needs of the residents of Fernie. In the late 1960’s she retired from photography and closed the studio. Muriel then became involved in community affairs by, for example, serving on the Fernie Hospital Board and working as a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. Muriel also became involved in community activities and, although she enjoyed curling and other sports, she particularly enjoyed the company of her fellow seniors and playing cards at the Drop – In Centre.
Late in life Muriel had to live with severely impaired vision. Ultimately the loss of her remaining vision precluded her from continuing her activities at the Drop – In Centre, activities which had played such an important part in her life. She spent her last few years, joined by her son, living in the home which had been hers for more than fifty years.
Muriel was a kind, loving, generous, mother and grandmother who always did her utmost for her family and, although she is now gone, she will always be lovingly remembered by her family.