When Ann Johansson was 10 years old she fell off her pony in front of the reviewing stand at the Brome Fair. She still won a ribbon since she was the only competitor in her class. Horses were always an important part of her life.
“We all grew up on the back of a horse,” said her son Brian Shemilt, adding with a smile: “With mum, it was horses, first, dogs second followed by children.” Mrs. Johansson, who has died at home in Knowlton at the age of 95, spent most of her life in Knowlton and West Brome. She was born Ann Grafftey in Montreal in August of 1925. Her brother Heward Grafftey was, for many years, the Progressive Conservative member of parliament for Brome Missisquoi for many years.
Both her parents were heroes in the First World War. Her father, Arthur, was a Black Watch officer and her mother, Honor Heward, was a battlefield nurse in France. Her aunt, Prudence Heward, was an artist with the Beaver Hall Group.
Mrs. Johansson was involved with the Pony Club in Knowlton, and rode into her 80s. She and her second husband, Dr. Arne Johansson, established the Mountainview Veterinary Clinic in West Brome and built an indoor riding arena there.
Ann Johansson volunteered at the BMP hospital and was active in the community. Ann was a friendly, outgoing woman with a positive attitude to life. She is survived by her children Brian and Jane Shemilt from her first marriage to Gordon Shemilt, and her children with Dr. Johansson, Anna, Lisa and Arne.