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Mary Johnson-Roy Legacy

May 14, 1952 - March 27, 2024

Mary Mary Johnson is the mother of a murdered child, and the founder of From Death to Life and the Two Mothers' Healing Groups. This page has been created to tell her story and to support her on-going legacy.

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Mary's Legacy

The Mary Johnson-Roy Legacy Fund has been created to support her on-going legacy through a variety of projects that honor her story and advance her important work in the world of restorative justice, healing, and forgiveness. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to this fund. Checks made out to the fund may be brought to her service or sent to the St Jane House at 1403 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN, 55411.

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Mary's Story

Mary was a mother, wife, sister, auntie, friend, and lifelong Northside community member. The tragic death of her only son Laramiun in 1993 set her on a path no mother ever wants to walk. Inspired by her faith, Mary transformed her grief into enormous light and love for the world. She faithfully served her community until the moment she drew her last breath. Read her story as it appears in the her Tribute Program.

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Mary's Celebration of Life

Mary's Celebration of Life took place at Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis on Saturday, April 13 at 11am. Matt McKinney of the Star Tribune wrote a beautiful obituary for her that was published on Sunday April 7.  A powerful 8-minute tribute video created in collaboration with StoryCorps was shown at her celebration of life. 

Mary's Health Journey

Sadly, in the fall of 2020, Mary was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. While this news was devastating, Mary persevered in her faith and continued to co-faciliate the mothers healing groups on Saturday mornings.

In May of 2023, StarTribune columnist Laura Yuen wrote a beautiful story about Mary and her husband Ed, and the community that surrounded and supported them at the St Jane House.

In September of 2023, NPR's Morning Edition aired a powerful 7-minute StoryCorps piece featuring Mary, Ed, and Oshea about her health journey. In December of 2023, StoryCorps published a beautiful 22-minute podcast called "Mother Mary" that included the mothers who participate in her healing group, as well as others who have been impacted by her life.

Visit her Caring Bridge site to learn more about her extraordinary life and sacred last days on earth.

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Mary's Story in the Media

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Mary's Book: Beyond Belief

Mary's story of forgiveness, as recounted to journalist Ray Richardson, has been published with the title "Beyond Belief" and is available for purchase on Amazon.

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Risking Light Documentary

Mary and Oshea’s story is one of three inspiring stories of forgiveness featured in filmmaker Dawn Mikkelson’s film powerful documentary film Risking Light. Streaming now on Vimeo.

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StoryCorps

In September 2023, NPR aired a powerful 7-minute piece produced by StoryCorps featuring a conversation between

Mary, Oshea and her husband Ed. A beautiful 22-minute podcast called "Mother Mary" followed in December 2023 as part of their 20-year anniversary.

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CBS Evening News

On June 7, 2011 CBS Evening News featured Mary and Oshea in an Assignment America piece produced by correspondent Steve Hartman. Here they are seen with Steve and photographer Bob Caccamise on the front steps of Alafia Place, their home in North Minneapolis at the time of the story.

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The View & People Magazine

In September of 2011, Mary and Oshea appeared in the Heroes Among Us section of People Magazine.  Following that story, they were interviewed on ABC’s The View by Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

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BBC Radio Documentary

In February 2019, the BBC News World Service featured Mary and Oshea's story in their Heart and Soul radio documentary series. Listen to the 26-minute long program here.

Support Mary's On-Going Legacy

The Mary Johnson-Roy Legacy Fund has been created to support her on-going legacy through a variety of projects that honor her story and advance her important work in the world of restorative justice, healing, and forgiveness. If you would like to honor Mary at this time, please consider a contribution to this fund. Checks made out to the fund may be brought to her service or sent to the St Jane House at 1403 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN, 55411.  Or donate online.

Watch the From Death to Life video to learn more about Mary's story and legacy.

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