Ellen J. Johnson, 81, died at 4:48 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at her home in Charleston, Illinois, after an extended period of illness.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Charleston, with reception to follow in the parish hall. The Rev. Braden Maher will officiate. A private graveside service will be held that afternoon in Roselawn Cemetery in Charleston.
Ellen was born on Nov. 18, 1941, in Aurora, Illinois, the daughter of Charles F. and Alice E. McCann. She married John Muller. She later married Dr. Carl Johnson; he survives.
Other survivors include her five children, Tracy West and husband Jeff of Dallas, Texas; Wendy Katanick and husband Jeff of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Sylvester "TJ" Muller and fiance Lainey Rhodes of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Melissa Newgent and husband Brian of Carmel, Ind.; and Charles Johnson and wife Lindsey of Portland, Ore.; one brother, Don McCann and wife Linda of San Antonio, Texas; grandchildren: JoEllen and Devon West; Andrew Katanick; Brayden Schutzbach; Jackson Hickox; Ellie Johnson; and Ava Johnson; one niece, Jenny DeBruyn of College Park, Maryland, and husband Devin; and many cousins and friends.
Ellen is also survived by special friends Bob Sedlmayr; Kip Speer; Tanner Speer; Penny and Natalie Weaver. She is survived by her beloved Golden Retriever, Reilly; German Shepherd, Reuben; and Chihuahua, Rocco.
She was preceded in death by her parents of Charleston.
Ellen was a 1958 graduate of Immaculate Conception High School in Elmhurst. She began college at age 16 at Loyola University of Chicago and attended from 1958-62. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She worked as a Registered Nurse for more than 40 years, caring for patients in settings such as a veterans’ hospital in Chicago, private duty nursing in Champaign, and psychiatric nursing in Mattoon.
In 1994, Ellen studied basic dog training at the National Canine School of Dog Training. She was a founding member and past president at the Charleston Area Dog Club, starting in 1995, and she also was a puppy class instructor for 20 years. She was a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She attended Chris Bach’s Instructors Workshop in 2003.
In addition, Ellen was a Certified Third Way Trainer and operated the dog club’s free information hotline for many years. She was recognized and well known as a local expert in dog care and dog training.
She was a member of the Charleston Area Dog Club and a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Charleston.
Ellen loved all animals, especially dogs. Although she was housebound due to illness for multiple years, she never complained but quietly and bravely faced her circumstances. She was more concerned with others’ needs than her own. Ellen had a positive attitude and quick wit. She had strong opinions but tried to get along with people, and if she disagreed with someone else’s opinions, she did so politely and respectfully.
Although physically limited in recent years, Ellen retained her memory, mental capacities, and penchant for spirited, intelligent conversation until her final days. She was attended by loving family members and caregivers, each of whom knew just how much she appreciated and loved them. She offered level-headed advice, remained up to date on current events, and was appreciated by all for her upbeat, engaging, friendly, and talkative nature.
Memorials may be made to the Charleston Area Dog Club and left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920
The family wishes to thank all of the caring personnel with Transitions Care hospice who loved and assisted Ellen throughout her illness. Everyone who assisted Ellen and Carl particularly in the last few years is much appreciated. There are so many kind friends that we cannot possibly mention them all. Thank you.