Mary Johnson

Mary Lou Johnson

Sunday, July 15th, 1923 - Friday, August 7th, 2020
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Mary Lou Johnson passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, August 7, 2020. Mary Louise was born in Moline, IL on July 15, 1923, the only daughter of Percy and Hope (Aulgur) Sipes. She and Blaine E. Johnson of Moline were united in marriage on May 30, 1941, by the Rev. Edgar Powell of First Christian Church, East Moline. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, two sons: James M. and Michael D., and a brother, Lloyd E. Sipes. Burial will be in National Cemetery on Arsenal Island, Rock Island, IL. Memorials may be made to Memorial Christian Church, Moline or to the Moline Fire Department paramedics with gratitude for their assistance over the past few years (Moline Firefighters Local 581, Charity Fund). Visitation will be Wednesday, August 12, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at Wendt Funeral Home in Moline, IL. Services will be Thursday, August 13, at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. All are welcome to attend but must wear a mask and observe social distancing. For those unable to attend in person, the funeral will be available via Zoom. Please contact the funeral home for more information. She attended Moline schools. In third grade, Mary Lou began piano lessons. By seventh grade she could sight-read any piece of music. She played several years for Sunday School. She earned her GED certificate at the age of 76. During World War II she was shipping/receiving clerk for Montgomery Ward store in Moline. Blaine returned from Europe in 1946, and they established their own home in February 1947. Mary Lou liked being a stay-at-home mom but soon became interested in volunteer work. Through the years, she volunteered for the PTA, served as leader of the Girl Scouts for 10 years, and was also a member of the Board. At First Christian Church, Moline, she was three-time chairman of Christian Women’s Fellowship, two-term chairman of the Official Board, Sunday School teacher, Bible Study leader, member of the Wee Care Day Care Board, member of CARE ministry, cluster delegate, Historian, Chairman of the 100th Anniversary, Library Team Leader, and Elder Emeritus. She was also employed as Director of Christian Education from 1985-1990. She and Blaine were active volunteers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association from 1956-1995, and during that time they coordinated the Labor Day telethon for 24 years. Mary Lou volunteered for Alternatives, Western Illinois Agency on Aging from 1998-2003,was ESA Volunteer of the Year in 1978, and was a member of the Lt. Governor’s commission on aging in 1990. Together, she and Blaine manufactured 30 Sparky Dog puppets for fire departments all over the country. She also ran her own dressmaking /tailoring business, “The Tiger’s Paw,” from her home for 30 years. She was a volunteer sky watcher for the USAF from 1957-1959, earning her wings for over 100 hours of duty. Her volunteering has earned her a listing in Marquis Who’s Who in American Women and Who’s Who in the World, every edition since 1993. She was finalist in the Quad Cities Volunteer of the Year in 1980. Mary Lou loved to have her whole family together and was extremely happy to see them all on her 90th birthday in July 2013. She had been a caregiver for her parents and her husband and cared for several of her grandchildren when they were little. She was an amateur writer of family stories for her family, an unpublished novel, The Green Rocker, and a published poem, “What is a Mother?” Mary Lou had a deep faith and firmly believed in helping others, even to the point of depriving herself. Mary Lou was a member of First Christian Church, Moline, for 80 years until they closed in 2017. She then joined Memorial Christian Church, Moline. She is survived by two daughters, Vivian (Brian) Maday, Tampa, FL and Amy Thomas, Moline, IL, a daughter-in-law, Katherine Johnson, New Lenox, IL, two former sons-in-law, Peter (Jennie) Sweedy, Holdenville, OK, and Richard Thomas, East Moline, IL. There are 10 grandchildren, Kristen (Bret) Lockhart, White Rock, NM, Megan (Kurt) Forness, Springfield, IL, Karl (Catina) Sweedy, Leesburg, VA, Devon (Dana) Landis, Jacksonville, FL, Brenton (Jillian) Johnson, Plainfield, IL, Kimberly (Timothy) Abbott, New Lenox, IL, Jamy Tunnell, Moline, IL, Philip (Jackie) Harms, Bettendorf, IA, and Tyler Thomas (Macy Owen), North Liberty, IA, and Jody (Ronald) Shotts, Ottumwa, IA. There are 24 great-grandchildren; Madeline, Elizabeth, Rebekah, Benjamin, Samuel, Clara, Aldan, Kathryn, Sarah, Duncan, Danielle, Samantha, Alexander, Maxwell, Billy, Hannah, Jacob, Rena, Charlotte, Jenna, Carson, Colin, Austin, and Amber.
Zoom Link for live streaming access of Mary Lou's funeral: - Meeting ID: 955 007 4114 - Passcode: 718588 For audio by phone:  Dial by your location +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

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Carolyn Olson Monson

Posted at 12:00am
My deepest sympathy to Mary Lou's family...always an inspiration at First Christian Church...

Debby (Johnson) Dixon

Posted at 12:00am
Vivian and Amy - my sympathy in the loss of your mom.  I'm sorry I did not make it to visitation  -- wasn't feeling well and thought it best to stay away.  She lived a good long life ... I will always remember the times at your house when we were growing up and will definitely remember her 95th birthday party !!  Sure would have liked to have seen her then.  Definitely hard losing our parents.  Remember the good times!  --- Debby

Jeff & Tami Gustafson

Posted at 12:00am
I've known the Johnsons since 1958. Grew up down the block from them. Played in bands w Mike, and have fond memories of those great times and great years. Thank you Mrs. Johnson.
Jeff G.

Warren & Zora Cook

Posted at 12:00am
We remember Mary Lou from all the years at First Christian. She was a wonderful person. Our sympathy to the family.

Warren & Zora Cook

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