Jeannette Anne Johnson

Jeannette Anne Johnson of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away Thursday, September 10, 2015 after a long illness. Memorial services will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 20, 2015. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Kansas University Endowment Association for the benefit of the Spencer Museum of Art, or to Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence.

Jeannette was born in Aurora, Illinois, September 5, 1944, the daughter of John A. and Wilma J. Keller. She attended Kaneland High School in Maple Park, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Kansas. While at KU, she met her husband and best friend, Dan Vernon Johnson, whom she married in Lawrence on October 1, 1971. As a newly married couple, they spent several happy years in both Lawrence, Kansas and in Seattle, Washington, before returning to Lawrence to start a family and rear two boys, Thomas and Eric. Dan, Eric, Thomas and his wife Corey Heiberger, all of Lawrence, survive her, as well as her brother William J. Keller and his wife Cheryl, of Elburn, Illinois, and their children Kevin Keller and Kimberly Slavik, and their families.

She spent her entire professional career at the University of Kansas, including staff and administrative roles in the Department of English, the School of Education, the Executive Vice Chancellor’s office, and the Office of the Provost. She retired as the Director of the Policy Office at the University of Kansas in December of 2012. Jeannette loved KU and made countless friends throughout her career and on into retirement, where she remained active at the university through her role as a docent at the Spencer Museum of Art and through her membership in the University Women’s Club.

Jeannette’s passions and interests were gardening, cooking, reading, art, and travel. She loved music, especially blues music, and continually fostered and encouraged her children’s musical development and appreciation. Throughout her entire life, Jeannette enjoyed a full and happy home, filled with family, cats, conversation, and laughter. She leaves behind a legacy of beautiful memories for her loving family, friends, and all that knew her well.

7 Condolences

  1. Joan Hahn on September 14, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Dan and family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Jeannette was such a lovely person. I got to know her while working at KU and appreciated how I could always depend on her. I don’t think there was ever a time when I asked her something that she didn’t know the answer! Her life touched so many people and she will be missed by many.
    Joan Hahn

  2. Bill Sharp on September 14, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Dan and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Jeannette for many years at KU and always found her to be one of the “good guys” just trying to get things done the right way. She will be greatly missed.

    Bill Sharp

  3. Carol Leffler on September 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Oh, Jeannette! It was always a joy to work with you. You were my “go-to” person for all those years and years and years when there were sticky questions that needed good answers. I hope your retirement years were lovely.

    To Dan and family: I know words can’t fill the emptiness or smooth the sorrow, but please know how very much I appreciated Jeannette and enjoyed knowing her. The best are missed the most.

    carol leffler

  4. on September 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Dear Johnson Family,
    My heart is with you all. I admired Jeannette very much and always looked forward to seeing her. May you find Peace and Comfort knowing her bright, adventurous spirit lives on within each of you.
    Much Love,
    Marta Schwartz-Calderón

  5. Melissa Manning on September 14, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    So sorry to hear Jeannette has gone. She was always helpful as well as fun to work with. Her cat stories were hilarious and no matter how troubling the matter I had to consult her about I looked forward to seeing her. KU was lucky to have her for many years and I know that I and all those who knew her will remember her.

  6. Dennis and Shirley Domer on September 14, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Dear Dan and Eric and Tom and both families,

    The news of Jeannette’s passing is hard to fathom but we can only accept it with heavy hearts and deepest sympathy for you, her family, and her many friends who will miss her incisive mind, her humble confidence, her ability to reassure and then move life along, her love of Rilke and the other poets she studied so diligently. Over her whole lifetime she knew what she was doing and whatever that was she did it very well. What a privilege to have known her for she was a most admirable person!

    Dennis and Shirley Domer

  7. Winder and Kathy McConnell on September 15, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Dear Dan and family,

    Kathy and I would like to express our deep condolences on the passing of Jeannette. She was, without a doubt, one of the most animated and delightful fellow-graduate students in our Department forty-five years back. I cannot ever recall her without a smile. May Hölderlin’s words give you some comfort: “Es ist schön, daß es dem Menschen so schwer wird, sich vom Tode dessen, was er liebt, zu überzeugen, und es ist wohl keiner noch zu seines Freundes Grabe gegangen, ohne die leise Hoffnung, da dem Freunde wirklich zu begegnen.”

    Winder and Kathy

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