Krista L Sanda (Gandrud) Johnson, 84 Blaine Minn. passed away April 22, 2022 of breast cancer. Born December 26, 1937 in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Krista was the oldest of 3 daughters of Karrol and Luella Gandrud. Krista attended St Cloud State, where she met her first husband Donald J Sanda, of Henning. They raised 6 children in Staples, Minn., and summered at East Battle Lake.
Krista became active in the Republican Party, taking leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. She was a delegate to the GOP National Convention in 1972 and 1976.
Kris was appointed as Director of Consumer Affairs for the state of Minnesota under Gov. Al Quie from 1979-1983. Kris served as the Commissioner of Public Service under Gov Arne Carlson from 1991-1999, after serving as his campaign chair. In 1984 she was appointed by Gov Rudy Perpich to the first Minnesota Racing Commission, which created Canterbury Downs.
Kris was a frequent political commentator on MN Public TV show “Almanac” during the 80s. She also attended the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the U of M.
After leaving government Kris worked at Control Data and the Minnesota Family Farm Institute.
In 1991 she married Richard O. Johnson, who was president of the Minneapolis Central Labor Union. They were married 30 years and enjoyed summering at East Battle Lake and wintering in Harlingen, Texas.
Into retirement Kris serve on the boards of Medica, Lutheran Social Service, Minnesota Medical Practice, American Red Cross, Rasmussen Business College, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, and the St Paul United Way.
Krista is preceded in death by her parents, and her first husband Donald J Sanda. She is survived by her husband Richard O. Johnson. She is also survived by her 6 children: John (Marcia) of Owatonna, Minn., Karin (Todd Luebke) of Maple Grove, Minn., Steven of Ottertail, Timothy (Janet) of Apple Valley, Minn., Paul of Edina, Minn., and David (Susan) of Edina, Minn., and stepchildren Lisa (Bob Bernabucci) of Mendota Hts, Minn., and Scott (Ann Marie) Johnson of Lake Elmo, Minn.
Also survived by grandchildren Lauren (Michael) Martiny, Rebecca and Rachel Luebke, Sam, Drew and George Sanda, and Jack and Beatrice Sanda, and several step grandchildren. Also survived by great grandchildren Kirby, and twins Teddi and Tripp Martiny. Also survived by sisters Donna (John) Uline of Blaine, Minn., and Jill (Jack) Wahman of St Cloud, Minn., sister-in-law Clarice Johnson of Minneapolis, Minn., and many nieces and nephews.
Family plans private graveside services at Girard Union Cemetery near East Battle Lake at a later date. Memorials preferred to the American Cancer Society, or Lutheran Social Service.
Arrangements at Belmont Karvonen Funeral Home in Henning: www.karvonenfuneralhome.com