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Ida Mae Johnson – Obituary

Name: Ida Mae Johnson

Age: 94

Born: 03-14-1927

Died: 01-08-2022

At a Later Date

At a Later Date

Ida Mae Johnson died at home, surrounded by her loved ones, on January 8,2022. A Celebration of Life is planned for later this year. Venue, dates and time to be announced.

Ida Mae Schwegel was born to William and Ida (Gillitzer) Schwegel on March 14, 1927. She grew up on that farm in a family of 11 children. Even though the Great Depression raged around her, she never realized how hard the times were. A smattering of first-hand memories concerning the Prohibition days also stayed with her.

She graduated from St. Joseph grade school in 1941. Unable to attend high school at that time, she completed her GED at a later date while working full time and raising a family.
In 1944, three years after graduating from grade school, she was invited to live with her sister Rose in Chicago.

In Chicago, she supported the war effort by working in the Bendex defense plant until the end of WWII. She married Gunnar Johnson in 1946. While living in Chicago, daughters Cher & Jean were born. After moving back to St. Joseph, a son, Don joined the family.

In 1952, Ida worked part-time in the laundry for St. John’s University. The next year, she was asked to manage the snack bar. Always open to a challenge, she accepted the job offer and held the position for 11 years. This was followed by other challenging positions: Assistant Director of Dining Services; SJU Student Housing Officer; and finally Director of SJU Housekeeping Services. Ida retired in 1992 at age 65.

Out-going and a leader, she relished being part of the group that represented St. John’s in the National Association of College and University Food Services and later the National Executive Housekeepers Association (NEHA). She became a regional governor for the NEHA.

Ida enjoyed traveling. As a member of a travel group, her itinerary included multiple countries in Europe, the Soviet Union, Asia, North Africa, Alaska, Canada, Iceland, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and Iceland.

Ida was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Ida; daughter, Cheryl; former husband, Gunnar; sisters, Rose McMahel, Catherine Litz, Eleanor “Polly” Schulte and the Schwegel brothers, Andrew, Wilfred “Fritz”, Edward, Ronald, Raymond and Delbert. She is survived by her daughter, Jean Johnson, son, Donald Johnson and sister, Alvina “Winnie” Pfannenstein.

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