Vera Joan Johnson (nee Hendricker) went to be with the Lord on Christmas Day. She passed peacefully in her home in Jacksonville, Illinois with her husband, daughters, and granddaughter at her side. Vera was born on August 14, 1931 on her family farm in Arenzville, Illinois. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Cal Johnson and sister Bertha Wankel of Beardstown, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her siblings Myrtle Hendricker, Rose Edge, Homer Hendricker, Irvin Hendricker, Ada Bennett, Ralph Hendricker, Harold Hendricker, and Phyllis Crocker.
Vera Hendricker Johnson, youngest daughter of Henry & Mathilda Hendricker, grew up on the farm outside Arenzville, IL and graduated from Arenzville High School. She was active in 4H and raised award winning animals, was a high school cheerleader, junior class president, and Homecoming Queen. Vera attended Bethel Church of the Nazarene. Cal and Vera met at Olivet Nazarene College and were married shortly after graduation in 1953. They both found teaching jobs in Fairbury, IL and started their married life there. In November, 1953, Uncle Sam called Cal into service in the Army during the Korean War. Vera stayed in Fairbury while Cal completed basic training in Fort Leonardwood, MO. She joined him for a brief period of time in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Washington state and then together they moved across the country when Cal was stationed at Fort Ord, CA, where Vera found a teaching job in Salinas, California. When Cal got out of the Army, he, too, found a teaching job and they stayed. The temperate climate with no snow was just too good to pass up. They attended Salinas Church of the Nazarene and were very active members there for 52 years.
Vera was very proud of her ﬁrst grade teaching career, and loved her work. She was the recipient of a distinguished teaching award and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional society for women in teaching. Vera was also very active in her church community and was a church board member, missionary president, Sunday School teacher, VBS coordinator, directed many Christmas programs, and was church pianist and organist for over 40 years in both California and Illinois. While attending the Salinas Church, both Cal and Vera were Church of the Nazarene Distinguished Service Award recipients.
While living in California, Cal and Vera raised their three children and provided endless care and support to their grandchildren, especially Kara who had many special needs.
Cal and Vera moved to Jacksonville, IL in 2006 and became involved in the Bethel Community Church of the Nazarene.
Vera is remembered by her son Jeﬀ Johnson and wife Holly Johnson (Castroville, California), daughter Jane Finney and husband Jim Finney (Jacksonville, Illinois), daughter Jill Duncan and husband Ron Duncan (Brentwood, Tennessee), grandson Adam and wife Angela Johnson (Puyallup, Washington), granddaughter Amy Finney (Los Angeles, California), grandson Bradley Duncan and wife Keeley Duncan (Franklin, Tennessee), grandson Bryan Duncan and wife Emily Duncan (Goodlettsville, Tennessee), great-grandson Lucas Johnson (Puyallup, Washington), great-granddaughter Isabelle Johnson (Puyallup, Washington), great-grandson Liam Johnson (Puyallup, Washington), great-grandson Milo Duncan (Franklin, Tennessee), Roman Duncan (Franklin, Tennessee), and Brooks Duncan (Goodlettsville,
Tennessee). Vera’s granddaughter Kara Finney passed away in 2015.
The family would like to thank the staﬀ at Cedarhurst in Jacksonville for the thoughtful and loving care they have provided over the past ﬁve years. The tireless assistance and extra help was noted and deeply appreciated.
Visitation will be at 10am with a service to follow at 11am on Friday, December 31st at Bethel Community Church of the Nazarene in Arenzville, Illinois. Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown, Illinois is in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Johnson’s services will also be streaming live at 11 AM Friday on the funeral home Facebook page. Burial will be in Beardstown City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Bethel Community Church of the Nazarene or the Kara Elizabeth Finney Memorial Fund for Neurodevelopmental Services at the Natividad Medical Foundation.
Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.
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Bethel Community Church of the Nazarene
13042 E Bethel Church Road, Beardstown IL 62618
Kara Elizabeth Finney Memorial Fund
515 S STATE ST, BEARDSTOWN IL 626181854