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Lake Lillian, Minn., woman named outstanding senior

Gwen Kresbach, left, and Cheryl Johnson, right, of the Kandiyohi County Fair Board, present a certificate Thursday to Marilyn Johnson of Lake Lillian. Johnson was named the 2012 Outstanding Senior Citizen during a ceremony at the Kandiyohi County Fair. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- Marilyn Johnson of Lake Lillian was named the 2012 Outstanding Senior Citizen during a ceremony Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Fair.

"This woman leads by example and dedicates her time to projects in the community and to Kandiyohi County," said Gwen Kresbach, the director of the fair who presented the award at the fairgrounds in north Willmar.

Johnson served as a secretary for the Kandiyohi County Historical Society Board and stepped in as executive director when needed. She volunteers to staff the museum during the week and has assisted the Kandiyohi Historical Society with fundraising activities including the Sperry House Tea and annual supper.

Johnson also volunteers at United Lutheran Church of Lake Lillian and serves on the Christina Cemetery Board.

"She does not crave the spotlight, but rather works quietly for the betterment of her community and Kandiyohi County, giving of her time, talents and energy," Kresbach said.

Johnson was nominated by Larry Macht of Raymond, who also serves on the Kandiyohi County Historical Society Board.

"This is a total surprise," Johnson said as she took the stage in her work clothes. "I enjoy working and helping -- it's how I was brought up."

Johnson will now go on to the Minnesota State Fair, where she will compete at the state level. The state fair's Outstanding Senior Citizen Award ceremony will be held Aug. 30 at the fairgrounds in St. Paul.