Cover photo for Eleanor Johnson's Obituary
Eleanor Johnson Profile Photo
1942 Eleanor 2018

Eleanor Johnson

August 30, 1942 — December 25, 2018

Obituary of Cookie Johnson Houghton Eleanor "Cookie" Johnson, 76, a resident of Houghton for many years, passed away Tuesday December 25, 2018, attheMayoClinic-St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN, where she had been a patient for the past two andahalf weeks. She was born on August 30, 1942, in Traverse City, MI, a daughter of the late Delvin and Crystal (Jaquays)Housding. Cookie was raised in Alanson, MI where she graduated fromhighschool. She received her Associate Degree from Parkland College in Champaign, IL, in 1979, and her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with a focus in Scientific and Technical Communicationfrom Michigan Technological University in 1983. On July 7, 1990, Cookie was united in marriage toDr.JohnH.Johnson, and the couple havemade their home in Houghton since that time. They oftenenjoyed trips to Marthas Vineyard,Massachusetts, andtheaccompanying photosof her are fromanAugust 2018 trip. In her working years,Mrs. Johnsonwas employedbyMichigan Technological Universityas ahalftimetechnicalwriter for the College of Engineering,and ahalftimestudent advisor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. In April of 1991, Cookie had surgery for a Glioblastoma Multiforme tumor in her brain,followed by6 weeksofradiation treatments. In 1993, she retiredfrom her positions at Techbecause oftheeffects of thesetreatments.Cookiesform of cancer commonly has a survival rate of about one year, but she survived, miraculously, for almost 28 years. Cookieled a full life. Shewas a member of the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Houghton. She enjoyed photography, knittingandquilting with her friends, and shewas active in biking, cross country skiing, and hockey.Cookie began volunteering with Little Brothers,Friends of the Elderly in the mid 1980s,helpingas a visiting volunteer, serving on the National Board,and helping with many social and holiday activities.She and her husbandJohncreated The John & Cookie Johnson Needs Fund to helpwithimmediateneeds of the local elderly.She wasalso, with KenCygan,afounding memberand team captain for the local American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Cookiepublished two booksin her writing career:I Remember Mackinac, and There Are No Miracles Luv whicharebased onexcerptsfrom her journal when she was receiving radiation treatments in May -June 1991 at the Mayo Clinic. Preceding her in death were her parents and a sister, Jean Fairbairn. She is survived by h er husband,Dr. John H. Johnson of Houghton; herchildren, John Rigg,Jr. of North Hollywood, CA; Steve (Bethany) Rigg of Okemos, MI; her step-daughters, Jill Johnson of Harlingen, TX; Karin(Rob)Ettensonof Santa Fe, NM; her grandchildren,Walquerand Victor Rigg, Christopher and Kari Kimball,and TroyEttenson; her sisters, GwendolynHausdingof Sun City,FL; Sherilyn(Paul)Duesingof Sault St. Marie, MI; her brother-in-law,Tom Fairbairn of Alanson, MI; her sister-in-law,KarenBougneitof Sun City, AZ; her special cousins,Dennis Ryan of Janesville, WI;andJoneandPeter Hoffman of Black River Falls, WI,who traveledmany timesto Houghtonforvisits.Cookie is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews,and cousins. Cookies family would especially like to thank her caregivers,Cari and Teri,for their help and care over the years;and to Darlene, Susan,and Kaitlin,forphysicaltherapy and for helping with her exercises each weekday. A memorial service and burial for Cookie will be heldin the spring or early summer. Memorial contributions in Cookies memory can be directed to the John and Cookie Johnson Needs Endowment Fund,through the Little Brothers,Friends of the Elderly Upper Michigan Foundationat200 Michigan St., Suite 609, Hancock, MI 49930;or to the Cookie Johnson Undergraduate Endowed Scholarship, through the Michigan Tech Fund, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI,49931. To view Cookies obituary,or to send condolences to the family,please visitwww.memorialchapel.net. The Memorial Chapel &PloweFuneral Homes are assisting the family witharrangements. To send flowers to the family of Cookie Johnson, please visit Tribute Store
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