Janelle A. Johnson, 80, of Kewanee, died Friday, October 20, 2017 at 8:17 pm at OSF in Peoria. Janelle was born May 3, 1937 the daughter of Donald and Marjorie (Bates) Swanson. She married William “Bud” Johnson on August 19, 1956 in Kewanee, he preceded her in death on August 28, 1996.
Janelle is survived by one son, Dr. Jeff (Pam) Johnson, Kewanee; one daughter, Jackie (Kevin) Callahan, West Branch, IA; five grandchildren, Jessica, Jordan, Jason, Emily, and Elizabeth; two great-grandchildren; and one sister, Beth (Iradj) Taheri, Toulon. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Janelle was a wife, mother, and homemaker who invested herself in her family with her whole heart. She had a variety of interests and talents but was most known for her love of gardening. She was a master gardener, a decades-long member of the Garden Club of Kewanee, and a district director and state treasurer of the Garden Clubs of Illinois. She was an excellent seamstress and quilter, producing many beautiful and award-winning projects throughout the years. Other artistic endeavors included making teddy bears, Victorian dolls and clothing, painting, and collecting and refinishing antique furniture.
She was passionate about education and served on the Wethersfield School District Board for 12 years and the Henry Stark County Special Ed Board for 6 years. She loved to read and shared that love in the Ladies Reading Circle and by tutoring adults. She also volunteered her time in other ways including leading a Girl Scout troop for a number of years.
Many know her through her long association with AFS, serving as a regional director for 5 years and hosting four foreign exchange students in her home who called her mom and maintained their relationship with her through the years. She loved to travel at home and abroad, and made many friendships accompanying her husband on his antique car club tours.
She had a keen interest in genealogy, particularly her Swedish culture and heritage and was a member of the Henry Co. Genealogical Society. She developed many special friendships over the years and most recently had a special fondness for her personal caregivers who allowed her to remain in her home.
Funeral services will be 11:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Schueneman-Tumbleson Funeral Home. Martin Gutzmer will officiate. Visitation will be from 5-7 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Garden Club of Kewanee or Kewanee School Foundation.