Ruth Johnson, age 97, of Sparta passed away on March 22, 2023 at the Morrow Home after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Ruth was born August 19, 1925 to Theodore and Doris (Prescott) Schlaver in Sparta, WI. She had fond memories of growing up as the oldest of 8 children on the family dairy farm. After attending the Hill Grove School and St. John’s Lutheran School, she graduated from Sparta High School with the class of 1943.
Except for taking a few years off to raise her family and a few years to run the restaurant at the Equity Livestock Barn, Ruth worked as a bank teller in Sparta from 1943-1987. She worked first at Farmer’s National and then at Monroe County Bank. The two banks merged and she finished her career at Union National Bank.
She married Lloyd Evenson in 1954. They built a home across the road from her parents’ farm where they raised two children, Linda and Ted. She lived for 97 years on what is now Icarus Road. During those years, she and Lloyd bred and showed purebred Pomeranian dogs and sold strawberries, strawberry plants, melons, squash and other produce. Her son, Ted, continues the agricultural tradition.
Lloyd died suddenly in 1973, leaving her a widow at age 47. In 1981 she married Vernon Johnson. They enjoyed traveling, dancing, socializing, and grand-parenting until his death in 1990.
Ruth was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. At various times she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, held offices in Ladies Aid, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society, and the Lutheran Home Auxiliary, as well as being an active Luther High School parent. Her Women’s Bible Study group was very dear to her. She was also active for many years with the Big Creek Homemakers Club, as a leader with the Little Creek 4-H Club, the Monroe County 4-H Leaders Association, and various other groups and organizations.
She is survived by her children, Linda Reed of New Berlin, WI and Ted (Allene) Evenson of Sparta; Grandsons Teddy Evenson of Sparta and Derek (Kari Fischer and her son, Isaac)) of Marshfield; Step-daughter Karen Brownell, step-sons Dale (Karen) Johnson and Bill Johnson all of Rockland. Step-grandchildren Todd (Tami) Brownell, Eric (Ellen) Brownell, Lisa (Blake) Horstman, Chad (Kelli) Johnson, Cory Johnson, Greg (Julie) Johnson, Katie (Elijah) Kennedy and their families. She is further survived by her siblings: Evelyn Herrman of Sparta, Anita Steinke of Wilton, Kenneth (Yvonne) Schlaver of Appleton, and Gerald (Virginia) Schlaver of Sparta, along with many beloved nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents and special aunt Laura Schlaver, husbands Lloyd Evenson and Vernon Johnson, sons-in-law Donald Reed and Gene Brownell, daughter-in-law Mary Johnson; siblings and their spouses Donald and Dolores Schlaver, Charlotte and Gaylord Koopman, Eileen and Charles Arndt, and brothers-in-law Robert Herrman and Elwin Steinke.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Morrow Memorial Home for their loving care of Ruth for the past 3 years, as well as the pastors and friends from St. John’s Lutheran Church who faithfully visited and encouraged her.
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at St. John’s Ev Lutheran Church, Sparta. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Family and friends are invited for visitation from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Ev Lutheran Church, Sparta. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.
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