Opal Johnson celebrating her 110th birthday
|Birth:||21 December 1909|
|Age:||110 years, 303 days|
Early Life and Teaching Career
Johnson was born on 21 December 1909. In 1928, at the age of 18, she began teaching in the one-room Whitefish School in Pine River, Minnesota. She taught eight grades, and had to deal with students who had illnesses such as typhoid fever and scarlet fever. She worked there for two years before leaving in 1930, going on to work in a school in nearby Mildred. She had at least one child, a son called Alan.
Johnson went on to earn a two-year elementary diploma from Moorhead State Teachers' College, and then took a supervisory teaching position at a school in Averill, Minnesota. While in Averill, Johnson wrote that she developed a new way of teaching students with learning disabilities, where she used topics familiar to the students, such as agriculture or trucking, to help them learn. She also taught in Moorhead, Minnesota and again in Pine River.
Johnson has lived in an assisted living facility in Pine River, Minnesota since she was around 100. She reportedly suffers from dementia, and is hard of hearing. In February 2017, at the age of 107, Johnson was reunited with one of her former students, Irene Olson (then aged 96), when Olson visited her living facility. Johnson celebrated her 110th birthday in December 2019.
- One-room schoolhouse student, teacher reunite - One is 96, the other 107 Pine and Lakes Echo Journal, 23 March 2017
- Johnson turns 110, is Good Samaritan system's oldest resident Pine and Lakes Echo Journal, 26 December 2019