Betty Johnson

Betty Johnson, 88, of Oak Park, died on May 2, 2018. Born on June 17, 1929 in Washington, Iowa, she was raised on a farm and attended grade school in a one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Grinnell College and then the University of Denver with a degree in speech-language pathology. She moved to Chicago and began as a speech therapist for the Chicago Public Schools, then went on to earn her Master of Speech Pathology degree from Northwestern University. 

While attending Broadway Methodist Church, she met her future husband, Kenneth Johnson, and they married in 1956. After two children, the family moved to Oak Park, which would be her home for the next 55 years. While raising her family, she returned to work at Easter Seals as a speech therapist and later as the program director for the Chicago area. Later in her career, she worked for Head Start Oak Park as a site director. 

After retiring, she continued as a national Head Start consultant and was very active in the life of the Oak Park community. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, served on the board for Parenthesis, and volunteered for many years for the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. She helped found the Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education in Oak Park. She dedicated countless hours to First United Methodist Church, serving on leadership and education-oriented committees. 

Betty Johnson is survived by her children, Julie (Craig) Zeller and Erik Johnson; and her granddaughters, Hannah and Madeline Zeller.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist of Oak Park, 324 N. Oak Park Ave. on Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Collaboration for Early Childhood, 123 Madison St., Room 209, Oak Park 60304 or to the music program at First United Methodist Church.

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