1923 ~ 2014
Gwendoline Johnson (formerly McElrath), 90 years old passed away on February 16, 2014 at Palm Valley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Goodyear, Arizona. Gwen was born on May 20, 1923 in Stoke-on-Trent, England to John Edward and Clara White Brough. She grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, England studying art before becoming a china painter for Spode. When England entered WWII she joined the Women's Land Army and worked the fields helping to replace the farm workers who were on active duty. Gwen married Donald Stuart McElrath, her favorite Yank, a member of the US Army Air Corps in 1945 in Trent Vale, England; they were happily married for 23 years until his death in 1968. Gwen came to the US on a PanAm Clipper in 1946 and became a naturalized citizen in 1950. Throughout her life she retained her love of her native England, traveling there many times. She was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Redlands for over 45 years and was a proud member in the Daughters of the British Empire. She retired from Redlands School District having worked as a cook, baker, and Cafeteria manager. She married Robert Johnson in 1976 and lived in Yucaipa until Robert passed away in 1983. Gwen is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, John and Margaret McElrath, her daughters Lynne Thornburg and Carol Duncan. She is also survived by her grandchildren; Chris Thornburg, Michelle Thornburg- Gillespie, Donald Duncan, Heidi Leon Guerrero, Heather and Erin McElrath along with her wonderful great-grandchildren; Brendon, River, Taylin and Tyler. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Redlands on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Hillside Memorial Park, Redlands, CA. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alter Guild of the Trinity Episcopal Church, 419 South Fourth Street, Redlands, California.
Published in Redlands Daily Facts on Feb. 21, 2014