PEQUOT LAKES -- Grace "Grandma" J. Akerson, 78, Pequot Lakes, died Wednesday, June 8, 2005, at her home. She was the daughter of Helge and Alma Johnson and was raised on a dairy farm in Amery, Wis. Grace graduated from Amery High School where she was actively involved in the band, orchestra and marching band. She attended the University of Dubuque where she majored in music and home economics. After leaving college she worked at the Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre, Minn.
Grace Johnson was united in marriage to Charles Akerson on Sept. 25, 1948, at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn. They resided and raised their six children in the Minneapolis area until 1970. During those years Grace was actively involved in the church as the music director and organist. Her musical talents included mastery of the clarinet, piano and organ; although her natural abilities allowed her to pick up any instrument and create music. Her musical friendships included many members of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra whom she entertained often in her home. She was an active volunteer sharing her love of music with youth at a variety of schools. In 1970, they moved to Pequot Lakes, Minn., where they raised Arabian horses on their farm, Northern Sands Arabians. They owned and managed Lakes Cafe in Pequot Lakes for several years. In 1971, they started a business selling horse equipment, which they called Ye Olde Tack Shack. Grace was known for her talent of sewing beautiful show outfits, chaps and horse blankets. They traveled throughout the United States with the horses and tack shop. During this time Grace was actively involved with the Northern Minnesota Arabian Horse Association and she shared her love of the Arabian horse with the 4-H youth in Crow Wing County. In 1982, she received the Don Moschenbacher award for her dedication to the Arabian horse. She was an active volunteer hosting numerous 4-H horse clinics and 4-H horse shows at her farm. Grace sold the tack shop in 1986 and worked for many years at Breezy Point. She continued to care for her horses until her death and took great pride in her beloved stallion Nor Sands Seranade.
Grace leaves behind six children, John (Polly), Virginia Beach, Va., James, Elk River, Minn., Janet (Greg) Praska, Brainerd, Minn., Jerry (Lois), Pequot Lakes, Minn., Jason, Red River, N.M., Judy (Scott) McFarlin, Rosemont, Minn.; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Helge and Alma; her husband, Charles; and an infant grandson.
Her children, grandchildren and the many friends she acquired over the years will sadly miss her.
Services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes. Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home and again one hour prior to time of service Tuesday. Arrangements are with Willim-St. Onge Family Funeral Home in Pequot Lakes.
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