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Wenban Funeral Home, Ltd.
320 East Vine Avenue
Lake Forest, IL 60045
847-234-0022

Mary Johnson

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Mary Johnson Obituary
Mary Barb Johnson, 93, died in her sleep Friday morning July 19th at the Westmoreland nursing home in Lake Forest, less than 3 months after her husband of 70 years, William B. Johnson, passed away. She will be buried next to William at the Johnson family cemetery in a private ceremony in Salisbury, Maryland. She died of natural causes, though she struggled with Alzheimer's disease for most of the last decade. Mary Barb, as she was called by many, was an active figure in Lake Forest government for more than 30 years, serving two terms as Alderman for the first ward, two terms on the zoning board, and a term on the Library Board. She was also the first woman trustee of Lake Forest Hospital, serving from 1985 to 1995. She was not shy, she advocated from the heart, and, with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, she made an impact. Notable activities in her Lake Forest public service career include her work on the beach renovation, a confrontation with Mr. T over his chain saw and the controversies over building lot sizes and the permit for the MacDonald's on Waukegan road. Other community service included the Woman's Boards of University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Lake Forest College, and she was a leader in the renowned "Know Your Chicago Committee." Mary Barb served the state as a member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and the Federal Government as a lawyer in the Federal Defender's Program in Chicago. But she was first and foremost the partner of Bill Johnson, helping him navigate the complexities and demands of a much honored law and business career. She is survived by her sons, Ben and Kirk, her daughter Kathleen Browning and her six grandchildren, Will, Olivia, Eileen, Grace, Ben and John. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to at 225 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. For service information contact: Wenban Funeral Home, Lake Forest, www.wenbanfh.com or 847 234-0022.
Published in Chicago Tribune on July 21, 2013
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