December 2018

Loreto S. Johnson

July 3, 1932
December 4, 2018

Loreto S. Johnson

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Loreto Sepúlveda Johnson, 89, died On December 4, 2018 in Jacksonville, FL with her family by her side.  She was born on July 3, 1929 in Viña Del Mar, Chile to Ramiro Sepulveda Mena and Marta Guilardes de Sepulveda. She is survived by her husband, Charles Johnson, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL; daughters, Mary Olivari Curran, San Diego, CA, Rosanna Olivari, Plantation, FL; sons, Douglas Johnson, New York, NY, Jason Johnson, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren.

A devoted mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, educator and friend. She graduated high school from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Viña Del Mar, Chile.

In 1949, she married Hernan Olivari Grondona, an officer in the Chilean Navy, in Viña del Mar, Chile. They had two daughters, Maria Loreto Olivari Sepulveda, of San Diego, CA, and Rosanna Olivari Sepulveda of Plantation, FL.

Around 1956, she traveled to the United States on a scholarship from International Experiment for Living and lived with a family in Brunswick, ME. She then attended classes at William & Mary College in Williamsburg, VA. She met Charles Johnson, a Navy Pilot, in Norfolk, VA in 1961. She moved to the United States permanently shortly thereafter, bringing along her two daughters. They married in October 1963 in Norfolk, VA and soon after moved to Naples, Italy. Upon their return to the United States in 1965, her husband was hired by American Airlines and moved briefly to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for his flight training, after which they moved to Boston, MA. In 1966, they moved to Danville, CA near San Francisco to raise their family. They had two sons, Douglas Patrick Johnson, New York, NY, and Jason Edward Johnson, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

She was a proud Chilean woman; she raised her children with a strong sense of the Chilean culture, always speaking Spanish at home and continuously making frequent visits with her children and husband to her native Chile. She traveled extensively and kept a home in her native Viña del Mar, Chile. She also had an apartment in Paris, France, where she enjoyed many stays with her family and also while attending cooking schools.

During her stay in Naples, Italy she was introduced to and became enthralled with the world of fine cuisine. Loreto loved the culinary arts. During the 1970s, she spent much time traveling and living in Europe, particularly in Paris, learning the culinary arts. She studied at the famed Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne in Paris, France. She also had the privilege of studying under Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, amongst other great culinary talents of that era. She brought her knowledge back to the United States and taught gourmet-cooking classes from her home kitchen. She also taught in the Adult Continuing Education system in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a pioneer of the culinary era in the 70s.

Private family service will be held in Chile.