Alice Anne Warner Johnson came into this world in the Grace-New Haven Hospital on March 9, 1964, the daughter of Susan and Terry Warner. For the first three years of her life, the family lived in New Haven, Connecticut. During this time, Alice, her brother David (11 months older) and her sister Elizabeth (16 months younger) created a private preschool for themselves. The neighborhood library helped them develop a deep love for books and for music, which grew in importance to Alice as her life unfolded.
Everyone noticed Alice’s joy in being alive, her interest in everything going on around her, and her determination to learn at virtually every opportunity. When three, she taught herself to read by examining posters in shops and at the library. During her childhood years, with but a few lessons, she worked hard to become an excellent pianist and cellist. She found great joy in accompanying others and participating in and leading choirs. She loved to do cartwheels and was obsessed with doing the splits. And with her insatiable delight for learning she filled her evenings with books and homework which made school for her a delight.
After the family moved to Provo, Utah in 1967, Alice, along with her siblings, enjoyed performing in theatrical productions at BYU and in Utah Valley communities. In the third grade she was chosen to be in the first production of “Saturday’s Warrior.” Her $20 per night stipend enabled her to take skiing lessons and provide lots of treats for her classmates. She seemed to always be working on an essay or speech that she often prepared for competitions. In her senior year of high school Alice went to Washington D. C. to represent Utah in the Voice of Democracy Speech contest. She won second place in the nation and made friends from other states that she corresponded with for many years. Alice cherished her friends and represented her High School class as a graduation speaker and a Sterling Scholar. Alice entered BYU as a Kimball Scholar and found great joy in learning new subjects and participating in college life.
In college, Alice majored in Economics and sang and toured with the BYU University Singers. After three of her undergraduate years, and upon turning 21, she served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taipei, Taiwan. This was a high point of her spiritual life, partly because of her deep love for the Chinese people and her desire to share her testimony of the gospel.
Upon graduation, in 1988, Alice was recruited by an economic consulting firm in Boston. While she was there, the Monitor Company learned of her presence and asked her to interview with them, which she did. Despite not having a master’s degree, she was hired by Monitor and quickly rose to a role in the company’s Global Executive Committee, in which assignment she traveled to many parts of the world. She developed deep and lasting friendships with her colleagues and fellow parishioners.
By the early 1990s, The Arbinger Institute had prepared itself for growing from a two-person consulting team to something larger and more influential. Alice accepted the position as Arbinger’s first CEO and established the small company’s new headquarters in Belmont, Massachusetts, where she had purchased a home. In time, she moved to Salt Lake City and brought Arbinger with her. In Utah, she got to know Paul Johnson, with whom she shared a rich musical background. By March of 1996 they were engaged, and they married on June 13, 1996, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Paul and Alice established their first home in Lindon, Utah, and later moved to Eagle, Idaho, where they were living at the time of Alice’s passing. Two children, both daughters, were born during their first two years of marriage, and the future seemed bright indeed. But during her final years at Monitor, she had been feeling inexplicably tired, not knowing why. Unbeknownst to Alice and Paul, Alice had been afflicted for several years with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis. In September 1998 she was diagnosed with the disease. Nevertheless, after much deliberation and prayer, they chose to follow their highest and best desire; they decided they would have additional children. That is how the two younger children came into the family.
Two main messages from Alice’s life remain. First, from her youth, she was always looking for ways to help others along in their journey. She became expert in using the skills she had developed in assisting her friends, her family, and just about anyone else who came within her orbit as they planned their futures, prepared resumes, and applied for jobs. When her malady made it impossible for her to move, she focused her mind and energy on writing books that others might find helpful, and music that would inspire. Some of these pieces were published; others she made available online. These efforts required her to dictate the material from memory over the telephone to someone willing to transcribe it and read the transcription to her for editing. The process could be lengthy and arduous, but she did it because she couldn’t stand not to be serving someone.
Second, Paul and the four children were the capstone of Alice’s life. For her the ultimate point of her music, her scriptural study, her academic and homemaking skills, and all else that she had learned, was to prepare herself to nurture and teach her future family. And ironically, it was only as her ability to serve as a mother was beginning to wane that the children she had prepared for finally came along. Yet—and this is the miraculous part—her interests and talents and youthful energy have been passed on to these children, a fact she never stopped being grateful for.
As important as anything else about her time on earth were these facts:
She loved the Church and her family above all else.
She devoted her life, even after it became nearly impossible to carry on, to help others through their trials. She often counseled with people beset with personal or family problems. They left their interviews with her more hopeful and courageous than before.
Though she was soon deprived of the ability to use any of her musical gifts, she rejoiced in the talents and achievements of her children.
Alice is survived by her husband, Paul E. Johnson; her children, Susannah Jane, Katherine Clair, Samuel Paul, and Mary Alice; and her parents, C. Terry and Susan L. Warner, and her nine siblings.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel located at 1133 N. Park Ln., Eagle. A viewing will be held from 12:00-12:45 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Family will also greet friends from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise. Interment will follow the service at Pioneer Cemetery, 460 E. Warm Springs Ave., Boise. Services are under the direction of Relyea Funeral Chapel.