Eleanor Mae Johnson, 86, died peacefully on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at Our House in Rice Lake, WI with her family by her side.
She was born on March 25, 1925 in St. Paul, MN and was raised by her parents Emil and Leona Busse in New Richmond, WI.
She graduated from New Richmond High School in 1943 and obtained a BS degree in Home Economics from Stout State University in 1946. She later completed advanced course work in her profession leading to a MS degree in 1959 and an Education Specialist degree 1981 from UW-Stout.
She was united in marriage with Edward C. Johnson on May 13, 1950 and they resided in Barron, WI for the past 57 years.
Her professional career spanned more than 38 years, during which she positively influenced the lives of many families and students living in Western Wisconsin. Early in her career she was employed as a UW-Extension Home Agent in Douglas, St. Croix, and Taylor Counties, and continued her involvement in Extension by judging 4-H projects at area county fairs well into her retirement.
She began her home economics teaching career at Rice Lake High School. During the 1950-60's she also taught at New Richmond, Amery, Spooner and Chetek High Schools and will be most remembered for encouraging her students to develop leadership skills through involvement in FHA.
Her skills as a classroom teacher lead her to join the faculty at UW-Stout as a Teacher Educator and Supervisor of Student Teachers, where she mentored more than 1,000 future home economics teachers during her 21 year career. Summer sessions provided her the opportunity to accept guest professorships at the University of Manitoba and South Dakota State University, as well as to complete an Inner City Fellowship in Birmingham, AL and develop teaching materials for the Native American population here in Wisconsin.
National and international travel was her passion including family trips to Europe, China and Israel and a special trip to Norway with her sister Jean. Her hobbies included collecting historical canning jars, stamps, antique dolls and genealogy. In her retirement she deeply enjoyed the activities and friendship of her Barron "swim group." She was a member of Wisconsin Coalition on Aging, a volunteer with the Office on Aging and a member of Salem Lutheran Church.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ed of Barron; her daughter, Mary Jo (Kenneth) Tuckwell of Ashland, WI; two sisters, Jean Bridgers, Albuquerque, NM and Ionne Gott, Citrus Heights, CA; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Leona Busse; and birth parents, Hannah and Ilert Johnson.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Salem Lutheran Church in Barron, WI. Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. in the New Richmond Cemetery.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the Rausch & Steel Funeral Home in Barron and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in Eleanor's memory to the Lakeview Medical Center Hospice, 1100 N. Main St., Rice Lake, WI or to the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, PO Box 79377, Baltimore, MD 21279, where an award will be established in her memory.