Ellen S. Johnson, 88
Ellen S. Johnson, 88, entered into eternal peace on May 3, 2019. Within essentially one week she went from planning a dinner outing with her senior group to hospitalization with advanced cancer. When given the news she said, “I’ve lived a very long and wonderful life.” She loved the Lord, had the peace which passes all understanding and was anxious to meet her beloved husband, Arvid, in Heaven; he preceded her in May of 2009.
Ellen was born in Chicago on Sept. 16, 1930, to parents Carl and Elizabeth Ritter Zahringer. The family moved to Rock Island, Ill., when she was four years old. She married Arvid Johnson on Sept. 17, 1950. In her early years, she worked at the First National Bank in Rock Island and Blackhawk Bank and Trust in Milan, Ill.
Her happiest years were the ones that she spent as a wife and mother. She enjoyed fishing for walleye and northern pike with her family in Canada. Ellen was also active in winter women’s bowling leagues, golfing, swimming and camping at Mill Creek during the summer. Her husband, Arvid was an avid hunter and she enjoyed creating recipes for the pheasant and venison he brought home. She also enjoyed preparing holiday dinners, baking cookies and spending time with her family.
She loved reading the Bible and one of her dearest stories was of Jesus visiting Martha and Mary, inspiring her to join the Alter Guild and actively volunteer for more than 50 years. She also served for 10 years as a teaching assistant, helping first graders with their reading at Immanuel Lutheran School.
Ellen is survived by her two sons: John and his wife, Jennie (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) and Bruce and his wife, Lori (Marshalltown, Iowa). She loved and enjoyed spending time with her six grandchildren: Kate and husband Nick Aberle (Kansas City, Mo.), Joe and his wife, Char Johnson (Denver, Colo.), Stephanie and her husband, Philip McCormick (Omaha, Neb.), Rachel Johnson (Marshalltown), Zachary (Chicago) and Meredith and her husband, Neil Liechti (Adel, Iowa). Ellen also was blessed with six great-grandchildren: Kate’s (Anna and Elizabeth), Joe’s (Caleb and Mikayla) and Steph’s (Isaac, Madeline and one to be born in June). She was especially close to her nephews, Gene Anderson (Largo, Fla.) and Al Zahringer (Moline, Ill.), who she raised during high school and college years after the untimely death of her brother, Calvin.
Memorial services will be held at her lifelong church of 84 years, Immanuel Lutheran, in Rock Island, Ill. on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. She will be laid to rest with her husband, Arvid, at the Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given in memory of Ellen to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 3300 24th St., Rock Island, IL 61201; Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 13541 W. Highway 53, Rathdrum, ID 83858; or your local Hospice. On-line condolences may be expressed at www.wheelanpressly.com.