by Rose Nightingale
On January 1, 1963, the house in Edina of the Rev. Vernon Johnson was sold back to him. The church had purchased it from him when he became rector, to be used as the
rectory (years ago the church used to own the house the rector lived in. Now the rectors buy their own). After more than 13 years the Rev. Johnson was resigning due to his personal struggle with alcoholism.
His treatment in arresting the disease was so successful he was an ideal counselor for persons suffering from the same disease. A number of prominent citizens backed him financially in forming the Johnson Institute for the treatment of alcoholism. It was very successful. Johnson also wrote a book, I’ll Quit Tomorrow, which is recognized as a leader in the treatment and cure of the disease.
The Rev. Donald Foster was elected as the eleventh rector of St. Paul’s in February 1963, following Rev. Johnson. One of Rev. Foster’s pleasant duties was the dedication of the stained glass windows in the nave. The seven windows are in memory of Ida Campbell Ramsey, Edwin C. and Jenny J. Garrigues, the Rev. Addison E. Knickerbocker, James L. and Fannie Cross Record, Charles L. and Eva K. Pillsbury, Franta S. Carney, and in recognition of leadership by the Rev. Vernon E. Johnson and Mary Ann Johnson.
The tri-lancet window in the back of the church is dedicated to all those commemorated in the Book of Remembrance. The stained glass windows in the chancel were dedicated by Bishop McNairy on December 8, 1963. They are in memory of Samuel A. and Mabel V. Gile, Charles B. Lyon, Martha Longyear Stevenson, Ruth Harding Pack, Jane Harding Chamberlain, Dr. Samuel B. Solhaug, Sr. and Bessie Olivia Healy. The oak lectern, incorporated in the chancel rail, was dedicated as a memorial to Robert F. Pack. The Baptistry was dedicated in memory of David E. Bronson, Jr.
Another well-known person at St. Paul’s was Miss Nettie Waite, who died in 1963. She left her entire remaining estate to St. Paul’s and a small bequest to the church home of Minnesota. Miss Waite came to St. Paul’s in 1883. She was interested in teaching children and was responsible for starting kindergarten in the Minneapolis public schools. She continued teaching in St. Paul’s Sunday School for more than 50 years. She was one of six children. When about three, she suffered an attack of what is now known as polio. There was no known treatment then. Both legs were paralyzed. She had heavy steel braces to aid her in walking. It was said “It is due to her courage and desire to aid other people that she walks at all.” The windows in the doors of the entryway which depict various biblical stories of teaching are dedicated to Miss Waite; so is the sacristy.