1923 - 2020
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Ruth W. Johnson, 97, of Glen Ellyn, IL, and formerly of Batavia, IL., passed away on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at Atria Park of Glen Ellyn, IL. Ruth was born on August 31, 1923, in Harvard, IL, the daughter of Leslie and Hazeldene (nee Hagar) Wakeley. She was united in marriage to Morris Edwin Johnson, February 10, 1944, in Sycamore, Il. Upon her marriage to Morris, Ruth interrupted her education at the University of Illinois. While raising their three daughters, she completed her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She taught school for several years but spent most of her career with the University of Illinois Extension Service as the county home adviser first for Ford and later for Kendall County from which she retired in 1989. During that time she received numerous awards from both the Illinois and National Associations of Extension Home Economists and served as president of both organizations. After their retirement, Ruth and her husband Morris, continued to serve others by entering the Peace Corp where they served in Lesotho in Southern Africa. They returned to Lesotho under the auspices of VOCA and maintained their relationships with the people they befriended there, including a members of a weaving cooperative. Back home, they worked with WARP, a network of weavers. They also served with RSVP and were devoted to their work with children for CASA of Kane County. Ruth is survived by her children: Carol (Greg Sultan) Johnson, Gail (Frank) Bernstein, and Barbara (James) Hagemann; six grandchildren: Charles Rita, David (Amy) Rita, Kristin (Todd) Gardiner, Jeremy (Alethea) Bernstein, Kurtis (Fiancee Ambrosia Stiles) Hagemann and Melissa (Chris) Mills; seven great grandchildren: Emme Gardiner, Brianna and Nate Hagemann, Jace Bernstein, MacKenzie , Kendall, and Quinton Mills; her sister, Lucille Austin, her brother, Donald (Kanya Nijima) Wakeley and her sister-in-law, Patricia Wakeley; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by: her parents; her loving husband of sixty-six years, Morris E. Johnson; her two brothers, Milo Wakeley and Harold Wakeley; her brothers-in-law, Russell Johnson and Dwight Austin; her sisters-in law, Jeanne Johnson, Dorothy Wakeley and Marian Wakeley; her nephew, Christopher Austin, and her niece, Betty Jo Bruhn. All services will be held privately at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Batavia, IL. Interment will be held at West Batavia Cemetery, in Batavia, IL. A celebration of Ruth's life will be held when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Ruth's name to CASA of Kane County or Illinois 4H Foundation. For additional information contact Moss Family Funeral Home at (630) 879-7900 or

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Published in Daily Herald on Nov. 22, 2020.
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2 entries
November 22, 2020
It was nearly 50 years ago when I met Ruth. Like everyone else, I was impressed when, in retirement, she and her husband, Morris, joined the Peace Corp. Knowing her commitment to helping people, I was not surprised that her devotion to the weaving collective they worked with in Africa continued long after her tour of duty there.
Ruth was as kind, decent, and good as anyone I’ve ever known; and I’m grateful that, as the mother of my dear friend Carol Johnson, Ruth was part of my life for so many years.
Fay Clayton
November 21, 2020
Wishing the family comfort and peace
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