Thais "Teddy"'s Story

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Celebration of Life service for Teddy Johnson is 5 p.m. Friday, August 18, 2017, in the Anderson-Burris Funeral Home Chapel. A private family graveside service is prior to the service, at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Thais "Teddy" Johnson was born May 22, 1914, in Spassk, Russia, to Alexandra and Nikanor Uteev and passed from this life into eternal glory on August 14, 2017, at her beloved home in Enid. She was surrounded by loving caregivers and family.
Teddy was an only child born to her parents. Her father was a civil engineer and an assistant general in the Russian government, and her mother was an elementary school teacher.
Impeding socialism and communism caused her father to leave the country for America to find a new start for his wife and daughter. In 1929, 12 years after he left, Teddy and her mom, traveled across the Atlantic to join her father in San Francisco.
He sent for his wife and child in 1929. Teddy and her mom were two of the four Russians given visas to leave Russia. Teddy was 15 years old at the time and she and her mom could not speak a word of English.
A wonderful Catholic School and life in a bustling city allowed her to quickly adjust to her new surroundings. She graduated from the University of California Berkley with a music degree and mathematics degree.
In 1941, she met and married an American sailor and five years later their daughter, Alexandra was born. While in California, she taught high school and for 23 years worked for the Corps of Engineers as a civil engineer.
Teddy's husband's family roots combined with her daughter's job opportunities to bring her and her daughter to Enid, Oklahoma, in 1989.
In 103 years, Teddy experienced socialism, communism, World War I, World War 2, the American Depression, diplomatic service with her daughter in Lebanon, Tunisia, and Israel for six years, along with countless other adventures.
Although her husband is gone and her daughter passed away several years ago, Teddy remained in Enid in her same home. Teddy loved Oklahoma and she loved Enid. Often times she has said, "It is the most wonderful community!" Teddy was a devoted and loyal citizen of the United States.
With all her life experiences, she treasured and loved America. She thought it was the greatest country in the world!
Teddy had a tremendous love for God and a growing faith in Him. She loved to read, study, and discuss the Bible. Worship at Church was a blessing to her.
Teddy prioritized family. She was a devoted daughter, wife, and mother. Teddy delighted in people and she treasured her friendships. Everywhere she went, to every person she encountered, she always told them, "Have the greatest day everyday!"
Throughout her life, she enjoyed reading, traveling, exercising, cooking, attending Bible Study, and most recently learning the Spanish language. Teddy was a lifetime student; always curious and wanting to learn.
She was preceded in death by her parents and daughter. Teddy's wish is that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to the Thais "Teddy" Uteev Johnson Memorial Donor Advised Fund at the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation .
Condolences may be made online at www.AndersonBurris.com.
Published on August 16, 2017
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