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Obituary for Ethyle A. Johnson
Ethyle Ann Johnson was born in Cresco, Iowa, on January 17, 1915 to Edmund and Susan Johnson. Six weeks after her birth the family moved to rural St. Croix Falls, WI, where Ethyle attended Hillcrest School briefly. The family purchased a farm near the Pioneer School in Bone Lake area in 1921. Ethyle attended the Pioneer School which included 2 years at Luck High School. She graduated from Luck High School in 1932. Following her graduation she attended the Polk Co Teachers College in St. Croix Falls, WI. Following her graduation from Polk County Teachers College she took a teaching position at the Gillespie School in Clam Falls. She taught in several rural schools for several years. On June 11, 1939 she married Louis M. Johnson of Clam Falls. They moved to their farm east of Frederic, but Louis took a job in Duluth for three years. Daughter, Judith was born there. They returned to the farm where they lived until the fall of 1995. They returned to the farm in 1943 and Ethyle returned to teaching. She taught for four years in Pleasant Dale and one year at Lewis. In 1951, Luann, a second daughter was born. Luann’s mental handicap inspired Ethyle to focus on the needs of other similarily handicapped children. In the fall of 1955 Ethyle was instrumental in beginning a class for such special needs children. The first class began in Amery, WI. She taught the class in Polk Co. for the next 12 years. In 1966 she helped to open an activity and work center for adults over 18 years of age, which met three afternoons a week. This program still continues in Balsam Lake at the Polk County Adult Development Center. The original special class program also continues in Polk County in the same building as the adult Center. Ethyle served on official board for special needs children on both the county and state level, receiving special commendations and a place in Who’s Who in Special Education. In 1976 Ethyle accepted a position to teach a special Ed class in Eau Claire, WI, and the family made their home in Eau Claire for the next 9 years, returning to their Frederic farm following her retirement after 31 years of teaching in the State of Wisconsin. Ethyle was a faithful member of the Evangelical Free Church of Frederic where she taught Sunday School. She continued to assist in numerous activities such as Childrens Church and Vacation Bible School. She assisted in the development of Stonecroft Ladies Bible Coffees for many years. She was a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society for several years being a cancer survivor herself. She served the Polk County Unit of the American Cancer Society. She was preceeded in death by her parents, Edmund and Susan Johnson; sisters, Edna Bratrud, Hazel Hutton; brothers, Roy and Gerald Johnson; by one daughter, Linda who died in infancy; and by her beloved husband, Louis. She is survived by two daughters, Judith Leigh and her husband, Don, and Luann. She is survived by two grandchildren and six great grandchildren, and a host of friends. Ethyle Ann Johnson died on July 30th, 2007, in Colorado Springs, CO, at the age of 92 years. Funeral services will be held Friday, August 3, at 2:00 PM at the Frederic Evangelical Free Church. Visitation will be held Friday from 1-2:00 PM at the church prior to the service. Rowe Funeral Home of Frederic, WI, was entrusted with funeral arrangements.