Agnes Johnstone

Agnes Irene Cowell Johnstone, 94, of Ada, passed away May 8, 2017, at the Benedictine Living Community of Ada.  

Funeral services were held May 14, at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with  Pastor Karen Finnegan officiating.

Interment was at Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston.

Agnes was born October 16, 1922, to Gerrit and Clara (DeYoung) Brolsma at Eldred (near Crookston). She grew up  on the family farm and attended country schools near Eldred and Beltrami. Agnes earned her GED from Crookston Central High School. She worked as a housekeeper for farm families in the Crookston area and in 1941, Agnes went to Oakland, CA to work as an electric welder in the naval shipyards in support of the war effort. She returned to Crookston in 1945 and went to work as an operator for Northwestern Bell. On June 1, 1946, Agnes married John Cowell. After their children were in school she worked for Jiffy Fry of Crookston from 1958 to 1972. John passed away on June 21, 1971. On June 8, 1974 Agnes married Sheldon Johnstone of Browerville and the couple eventually settled in Crookston.

Agnes was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Crookston where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. She enjoyed growing vegetables, strawberries and flowers

Agnes is survived by one son, David (Karen) Cowell of Dubuque, IA and one daughter, Coleen (Jerry) Bitker of Halstad; son-in-law, Michael Danielson of Viroqua, WI; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; step-children Alice Harris, Hondo, TX, David (Diane) Johnstone, Browerville, Linda Miller, Alexandria and Donna (Terry) Zimmer of Nelson; seven step-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; one brother, John (Margaret) Brolsma of Bloomington; one sister, Charlene Terpstra of Crookston.

She was preceded in death by her two husbands; one daughter, Patricia Danielson; parents; three brothers, George (Jessie), Herman (Lillian) and Allen (Leah) Brolsma; one sister Sady (Ben) Newell; brother-in-law, Ernest Terpstra; son-in-law, Willie Harris, and great-granddaughter Kristin Johnstone.

w20p A00006B2017MY18

Advertising Deadlines

Deadline for advertisements and copy is Friday, noon.

Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

Deadline: Friday, noon


Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed