Nov. 1, 1938-July 15, 2015
Homer educator Elizabeth Ann Johnson, 76, died of natural causes at her home on July 15, 2015. A memorial service for Liz is at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, at Faith Lutheran Church. There will be time for sharing memories with her family.
She was born Nov. 1, 1938, in Longview, Wash., to the Carters. Liz was raised in Washington and Oregon. She moved to Homer with her husband, Bill, and two Irish setters in 1965.
A graduate of Oregon College of Education, she was a classroom and physical education teacher at Paul Banks Elementary School for many years. She also helped Bill coach gymnastics at the junior and senior high schools. After retiring from the Kenai Peninsula School District, her love of children led her to teach at the Faith Christian Preschool where she nurtured several grand and great-grand students as they began their educational careers. She loved that job with all her heart, spending countless hours preparing Bible based lessons and daily creative projects. She said every day was a joy because she always got at least one huge giggle or grin out of their 3-year-old questions and observations.
Endlessly creative, Liz loved bringing beauty to the world around her. A member of the Homer Garden Club, she planted amazing rock gardens around the home she and Bill built themselves out East End Road and tended other flower gardens around Homer.
She raised chickens, became a talented cook of game meats, picked berries both wild and cultivated, putting up hundreds of jars of jams and jellies, as well as making berry infused vinegars.
Liz painted in oils, created stained glass with Bill, knit, crocheted, quilted and sewed. For years she and Bill anonymously made piles of flannel pajamas, shirts, down vests and jackets as Christmas gifts to brighten children’s holidays.
Though they had no children of their own, they opened their hearts and home to many over the years, including Hitoshi, a Japanese foreign exchange student. They had special relationships with the Nussbaum girls, children of longtime friends in Anchorage, and especially Patti Harrington Jolin, their “chosen daughter.”
Liz was predeceased by her husband, A.W. “Bill” Johnson; her parents, and brother, William F. Carter.
She leaves to lovingly remember her, Rosalie Shockley, her sister, of Benton, La.; “chosen daughter” Patti (Jim) Jolin of Sterling; many nieces and nephews; and devoted longtime friends.
Liz’s wish was that any memorial donations be sent to the Bill and Liz Johnson Teacher Education Scholarship Fund c/o The Homer Foundation, P.O. Box 2600, Homer, AK 99603, to help graduates of Homer High School prepare themselves to find the same joy and fulfillment in teaching that Liz and Bill enjoyed.