r Every community has people in it that make it great – salt-of-the-earth kind of people. Join us at Beehive Homes each month as we highlight one of our longtime members in the community.rLaMaida Jean Johnson was born in May of 1937 at her home in Los Angeles, Calif., to Loring and Lola Larsen. She was named after a street her father Loring was working on while painting homes. She had two sisters and two brothers. During a time of U.S. turmoil in preparation of World War II, LA was bustling with industry. During World War II (1941-1945), Los Angeles grew as a center for production of aircraft, war supplies and ammunitions. Thousands of people, both blacks and whites from the South and the Midwest, migrated to the West to fill factory jobs.r“I remember every once in a while we would have what they called blackouts. Someone would come down the street calling out ‘blackout’. Everyone would turn out their lights and pull their shades down. Fred (my brother) and I had tags to wear around our necks with our names and address stamped in them. This was in case the West Coast was invaded,” Johnson said.rWhen Johnson turned 5, her father and mother moved to Utah so they could be closer to Lola’s ailing mother who lived in Aurora, Utah. They settled in Spanish Fork and lived in a home on 400 North. Loring was a house painter and quickly found work painting homes in the subdivision they lived in. It was being built out very quickly and homes were filling up with migrant workers who came to the area to work for Geneva Steel. In fact, the subdivision they moved into was one of the first subdivision in Spanish Fork and was dubbed “Little Chicago.”rJohnson attended Rees Elementary School and made friends quickly. She later would attend Spanish Fork High School. It wasn’t long before she met her future husband. She and her best friend LuAnn went for a drive with some other girls. Right near Main Street, the car stopped. “We weren’t sure what was wrong and soon realized the car was out of gas, and the car belonged to my friend’s brother, and she took it without permission, and she didn’t even have a driver’s license,” Johnson said. A group of boys stopped to help the girls; among them was Jonny Robert Johnson of Santaquin. “I don’t remember who else was there with the boys, I only remember Jonny. He really made an impression on me,” she said.rWhen Johnson was going into 11th grade, she and Jonny started dating and were soon married. She quit school and focused on her family. They later would move to a home across the street from the high school that still stands today. They had three children: Joyce Lorane, Robert Leon and Cara Jean. Johnson was a young mother and did the best she could raising her young children. She was as busy as you would expect a young mother to be, and her complete attention was given to her children. Robert soon started painting with her father and would later work for Geneva Steel, from which he retired many years later.rToday Johnson lives in Beehive Homes of Salem. She is enjoying the quiet life and reminiscing about the old days – laughing about good times and crying about the hard times. “I really do like this place. I love my room, it is so nice. I never want to leave this place, it really is nice.” Johnson has 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Thank you, LaMaida Johnson, for being kind, loving and generous and making our community great. We recognize you for the great family you have raised and serving our community in every way you can to make life enjoyable for those around you.rTo contact LaMaida Johnson, you may visit or write to Beehive Homes, care of LaMaida Johnson, 1015 S. 550 West, Salem, UT 85653.
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