Obituary: Ingrid (Rudy) Johnsen


Ingrid (Rudy) Johnsen

April 20, 1934 - November 21, 2022

Ingrid (Rudy) Johnsen died peacefully in the night on November 21, 2022 at the Christian Health Care Center nursing home in Lynden. Her life began on April 20, 1934 in Riga, Latvia, as the 2-pound baby daughter of Seventh-Day Adventist missionaries. The quiet strength that allowed her to survive as a frail child grew into a resilience and perseverance that she carried throughout her life. After returning from Europe, Ingrid and her older sister grew up living in various parts of the United States and Canada. She often told stories of childhood summers spent riding in the back of her parents’ sedan as they traveled the country visiting SDA camp meetings where her father would preach and her mother would play piano and sing.

Ingrid later earned bachelors and masters degrees in the field of nursing, and eventually became a well-loved instructor at the Walla Walla College School of Nursing in Portland, OR where her family had settled. In her early thirties, Ingrid met and fell in love with a handsome Norwegian, and in 1966, her 53-year marriage to Lars Johnsen began. The couple had one child together, in addition to Lars’ three children from a prior marriage. In their free time, they enjoyed outdoor activities in nature, visiting with family and friends, and traveling.

Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Ingrid left the school of nursing to pursue her own medical career. She became an RN and worked many years at Portland Adventist Medical Center. Then, she spent nearly two decades caring for new mothers in Emanuel Hospital’s Family Birth Center.

In retirement, Ingrid enjoyed many adventurous trips with Lars exploring Europe, Australia, and North America. They also began their final homebuilding project in Blaine, with the intent of settling near family. An episode of Guillain-Barre syndrome had a debilitating effect on Ingrid in her early seventies, and she never fully regained her strength.

Ingrid is preceded in death by her stillborn brother, Charles Rudy; her beloved parents, Henry and Hazel Rudy; her sister, Maxine Wagner; her husband, Lars Johnsen; and her son-in-law, Dan Padilla. She is survived by her daughter, Tina Padilla; her stepchildren, Evelyn Johnsen, David Johnsen, and Irene (Tim) Sylvester, as well as 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Ingrid is remembered as a mild-mannered, caring, loyal, and selfless woman. Those providing Ingrid’s care in her final years appreciated her kindness and sense of humor. She was highly intelligent, always willing to speak the truth, and unwavering in her SDA faith. She fervently looked forward to reuniting with all of her loved ones at the Second Coming of Christ.

A graveside service will be scheduled in the spring of 2023 at the Mount Hope Cemetery in College Place, WA. You may share memories with the family at In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you join in their support of the Whatcom Hospice Foundation which provided exceptional, supplemental care in the last year of Ingrid’s life.