Tuesday, May 23, 2017
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM CDT
Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home
803 Main St.
Racine, WI 53403
AND Wednesday at the funeral home from 9:30 A.M. until time of service at 10:30 A.M.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
The Charles W. (1955) and Jennifer C. Johnson Cancer Research Fund
77 Mass Ave. Bldg. 76-149, ATTN: Lisa Schwarz
Cambridge, MA 02139
The Racine Zoological Society
2131 N. Main Street
Racine, WI 53402
The Racine Police Department K-9 Unit
730 Center Street
Racine, WI 53403
Life Story / Obituary
1935 – 2017
Jennifer C. Johnson passed peacefully with her loved ones at her side on May 15, 2017 in Chandler, AZ.
She was born in Baltimore, MD, on August 31, 1935. She was adopted by Elisabeth M. Congdon. Her childhood was spent in Duluth, MN and Tucson, AZ during the school year and on the Brule River in the summer. For grades K-8 she attended the Normal School in Duluth and the Arizona Sunshine School in Tucson. She went to Stanbrook Hall in Duluth (grades 9 & 10), and she attended Tucson Senior High School during one of those years. She went east to Dana Hall in Wellesley, MA for the last two years of secondary school where she graduated in 1953. She completed her schooling at Garland Junior College in Boston, MA, where she earned an Associate Degree in 1955 (Merchandising & Retailing).
In addition to Tucson, she traveled frequently with her mother, grandmother, and sister to Westhome in Yakima, WA. In the summer of 1952 she toured Europe with her mother, visiting twelve countries in three months.
She met Charles William Johnson in Boston, and they were married at Glensheen on September 10, 1955. She was given in marriage by her uncle, Robert Congdon. Jen and Chuck moved to Alexandria, VA while Chuck was serving in the military. They subsequently relocated to his hometown of Racine, WI. They lived at 504 Augusta Street from 1957 until 1962, and then moved to 3801 Lighthouse Drive where they raised their six children.
She worked as a domestic engineer. She co-founded IMSL/VNI, Inc. with her husband and helped him turn the business into an international company. She was the owner of several needlepoint and gift/jewelry shops. She was a Life Member of the Racine Zoological Society and of the St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary, and she was a volunteer with the Junior League. She was a principal benefactor of the Mayo Clinic where she and Chuck also established the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Immunology Research Endowment. She was extremely involved with MIT and established an Athletics Fund; David E. Marino Memorial Fund for Strength Training & Conditioning; a Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Fund: Clinical Research Fellowship Fund; an Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Professorship; an EECS Thesis Prize Fund; a Mathematics Prize to a Graduate Student for outstanding original research; a Partial Fellowship in Mathematics; Physics: Andrew Moore Lockett III Memorial Fund; and a Sloan School of Management fellowship fund, preference for a doctoral candidate in Finance. Supporting the local police force was also very important to her, so she donated funds to purchase and train two dogs for the Racine K-9 Unit. She also established the Charles and Jennifer Johnson Endowment at The Prairie School in Racine.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Elisabeth M. Congdon and her husband of 57 years, Charles W. Johnson. Her six children include: Elisabeth (H. Herbert) Fisher of Houston, Clare (Susan O’Donnell) of Tucson, Tom (Linda Wehinger), and Marian (Christopher) Crowell of Racine, Ann (Lisa Lindsey) and Susan of Phoenix. Grandchildren: Charles (Estefania) and Jacklyn Fisher, Jenna and Andrew Crowell, and Catherine and Sarah Johnson.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 10:30 A.M. at the funeral home with Rev. Linda Hanus officiating. Interment will follow at Graceland Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Tuesday at the funeral home from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. and Wednesday at the funeral home from 9:30 A.M. until time of service at 10:30 A.M.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial gifts to:
The Charles W. (1955) and Jennifer C. Johnson Cancer Research Fund at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research (MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, 77 Mass Ave. Bldg.76-149, Cambridge, MA 02139, ATT: Lisa Schwarz );The Racine Zoological Society (2131 N. Main Street, Racine, WI 53402); orThe Racine Police Department K-9 Unit (730 Center Street, Racine, WI 53403).
We would like to thank Hospice of the Valley and Home Instead for providing the family with comfort, kindness and exceptional care.