Mary Ann Johnson, 88, of Elkhart, died peacefully at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Center for Hospice Care in Elkhart due to complications from pneumonia caused by stage 4 lung cancer.
Mary Ann was born on January 6, 1930 in Hamilton, OH to the late Edmund and Elizabeth (Stomps) Huber. She was also preceded in death by a brother, Robert C. Huber, several cousins and her dear high school friend, Susan Hammans.
She married Jerry C. Johnson in July of 1959 in South Bend and later divorced in 1982. Surviving are a son, Steven Eric (Hilda) Johnson of Goshen; a daughter, Julie (Max) Schut of South Bend; a grandson, Michael Johnson and several nieces and nephews. Mary also leaves behind several special friends: Barb and Leslie Fierce, Jim Hunsberger, Bev Miller, Brenda Newburn, Jann Viglione and Barb Ayrea.
Mary moved to Elkhart in 1956 where she made her home until she passed away. She eventually moved back to her parent’s home after their death. She graduated from Hamilton High School in Hamilton, OH and later went to Ohio State University where she graduated from in 1952 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. While at Ohio State, she was the president of Baker Hall. For most of her life, Mary Ann was a homemaker, taking care of her two children. She was employed for several years at her brother’s furniture store as well as Glaval, Industries. “Mom” enjoyed crafts and once had a fun fair and donated all of the proceeds to Aux Chandelles (ADEC). She even involved her children with her crafts, making snow and sand castles, birdhouses and teaching her children to make little pillowcases.
The last two and a half years had been difficult for Mary Ann as she had fallen and broken her pelvis. Many people say that when an older person falls and breaks something, that is usually the beginning of the end. She proved everyone wrong and endured way longer than the doctors said she would. She was feisty, still the same perfectionist, determined and her favorite expression was always, “I’ll do it my way.” She had a lot of adventures the last two years of her life, going to the Fort Wayne Zoo for the first time where she was able to feed her favorite animal, the giraffe with lettuce stalks. She went to McClure’s in Peru, IN to pick up her favorite peach salsa, Grandma’s Pantry in Wakarusa where she would occasionally meet her friend, Jim, Linton’s Enchanted Gardens and going to Arby’s for her favorite, Ghiradelli chocolate milkshakes! The one event she cherished most was spending the day with her family at her son’s house this summer and watching the Goshen Air Show. She enjoyed watching the jet fighters as they flew overhead.
Prior to her fall, mom was still actively driving herself to doctor’s appointments, hair appointments and shopping at the University Park Mall. Most of all, she loved gardening, her pride and joy. She was still tending to vintage flowers left by her mother when they were planted in 1957. Mary Ann had a “green thumb” and shared her end of season seeds with her neighbors and even one year had a contest to she who’s seeds would grow the largest! Her love of giraffes was also apparent as she had over 75 in her home of different shapes and sizes.
Visitation for Mary Ann will be on Thursday, October 25th from 5 P.M. until 7 p.m. at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Rice Cemetery in Elkhart.
The family wishes to give special thanks the staff at Elkhart Hospice House for the care and comfort given to Mary Ann on her last day.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS 66675-8517.