Nancy Lou Johnson (nee Raley) reached her heavenly home on September 3, 2022 at the age of 91. She was born on December 29, 1930 in Minerva, Ohio, and attended Minerva High School. She worked at the telephone company in Minerva, as a church secretary at Gethsemane United Methodist Church, and as an obstetric-gynecologists receptionist in Muncie, Indiana but the majority of her adult years were spent raising her beloved family and helping her husband in pastoral ministry.
Nancy married her first husband, Jack, on July 9, 1950. After his untimely death in 1971, she met Don Johnson on a blind date. They married on May 28, 1973 and combined their families her four children and his three children. Don and Nancy were happily married for 49 years.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Edwin and Helen Raley, of Minerva, Ohio; her first husband, Jack Van Fossen of Muncie, Indiana; and her sister, Pat Cole, and brother-in-law, Richard Cole, of North Canton, Ohio. She is survived by her loving husband, Don Johnson, of Venice, Florida; her daughters, Cynthia Burt (Kevin) of Westfield, Indiana; Sally Kowalisyn (Russ) of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Betsy Howell (Rodney) of Brighton, Michigan; Jenny Breedlove of Monticello; and Sheri Allen, of Monticello, Indiana; and her sons, Brad Van Fossen (Lou Ann) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Bill Johnson (Karen) of Carmel, Indiana. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren Melissa Burt, Logan Burt, Megan Burt, Josh Howell, Andrew Howell, Rachel Howell, Aaron Kowalisyn, Samantha Kowalisyn, Abbi Johnson, Sara Warnock, Kelsey Gilliam, Niall Breedlove, Amy Lime, Carrie Allen, Davey Allen, and Cameron Van Fossen and eight great-grandchildren.
Nancys life was full and rich with her large family and many activities, usually in the service of others. As a girl, she was a gifted athlete who enjoyed playing baseball. Nan, as she was known by some, shared her quick wit and quiet wisdom ("It is what it is") with friends and family alike. The closest she ever got to a swear word was, "Garsh!" or "Hells bells!" Her deep, personal Christian faith was important to her and came at the cost of her choosing to be a Christian without the support of her parents. Nancy was known among her friends as "one of the sweetest, kindest, most spiritual Christians I have ever known," as one said. She faithfully worked alongside Don in ministry at various United Methodist Churches in northern Indiana, including Muncie, Fort Wayne, Elkhart, Monticello, and Ligonier. Don and Nancy also spent a year of pulpit exchange serving an English-speaking congregation in Hong Kong, China. Nancy spent countless hours volunteering for hospice, leading Bible studies, and helping children in Head Start. Nancy may have been ambivalent about cooking but was well-known for her spaghetti dinners. She loved reading books of all kinds - devotional books, Christian literature, and general fiction. After retirement, Nancy and Don moved to Venice, Florida, returning to spend summers with family in Monticello. Favorite gatherings were Thanksgivings, and Fourth of July on Lake Wawasee.
Nancy meant everything to her husband, children, and grandchildren. She was the binding force, keeping the family close. Her legacy of love and devotion will always enrich the lives of those who knew and loved her. Nancy taught us to experience life as a gift and she set, for us, a standard of how to care for others with her tireless concern, support, and prayers. She will be missed more than words can express.
Visitation will take place from 1-2 PM on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, at Monticello United Methodist Church, 200 South Main Street, 47960. A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 2 PM.
Cremation services are entrusted with Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home of Monticello.
Friends and family are encouraged to share a photo, a memory, or messages of condolence at www.springervoorhisdraper.com