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Nancy J. Johnston

1938 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Nancy J. Johnston Obituary
Nancy Jayne Youngren Johnston died Nov. 16, 2018, at Seminary Village in Galesburg, Ill., after moving from 2800 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, where she had lived for 25 years. The oldest of James V. and Maude (nee Myers) Youngren's two children, Nancy was born in Galesburg on March 6, 1938, but spent her childhood in rural Henderson Grove. She directed youth choir and played organ and piano at Messiah Lutheran Church, and attended one-room Greenleaf School with her brother James A. Youngren. At 13, the family moved to west Fremont Street in Galesburg and Nancy attended Hitchcock Junior High School. She played bass violin in the Knox County Symphony while a student at Galesburg High School, from which she graduated in 1956. After completing the nursing program at Galesburg's Cottage Hospital, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing in 1961 and a master's degree in community health nursing from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 1987. In summer 1960, her pastor asked her to be dean of women at Camp Augustana in Lake Geneva, Wis., where she met the pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church of Englewood on Chicago's south side. Nancy and Rev. Dr. Bruce D. Johnston were married Sept. 2, 1961, at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg. Over the next four decades, she raised four children while supporting her husband's career and growing her own. She shepherded Stephanie (56), Eve (53), James (51), and Noel (49) through moves to Glenview, Ill.; Galesburg; La Grange, Ill.; Lincolnwood, Ill.; and back to Chicago. She taught nursing at four hospitals and Morton College in Cicero, Ill.; staffed the Berwyn Township (Ill.) Public Health District; was Lincolnwood School District 74 nurse; and was teacher-nurse at Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) Nicholas Senn and William H. Wells Community Academy high schools. Nancy was a licensed Illinois Department of Children & Family Services foster parent and member of PEO International, which supports women's education. After the Vietnam War, she and Bruce sponsored two refugee sisters. After retiring from CPS in 1995, she volunteered for Sarah's Circle women's homeless shelter and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Nancy is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren Ryan (21) and Colin Kochanek (18) and Kyle (16) and Cassie Johnston (14), and brother. She was interred Nov. 24, 2018, in a private ceremony at the Youngren family plot at Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens outside Galesburg. Memorial service Sat., Dec. 8, 11:00 a.m., at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your church, synagogue, or First Lutheran Church at 364 E. Water St., Galesburg, IL 61401; 309-343-3176.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Nov. 29, 2018
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