Shirley K. Johnson

Posted 11/9/21

MENDOTA - Shirley K. Johnson, 85, of Mendota, passed away at home on Nov. 8, 2021 after an extended illness.

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Shirley K. Johnson


MENDOTA - Shirley K. Johnson, 85, of Mendota, passed away at home on Nov. 8, 2021 after an extended illness.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota with Rev. Jeffrey Brace officiating. Burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11 at the funeral home.

Shirley was born Sept. 2, 1936 at home in West Brooklyn to Russell and Hilda (Frey) Dalton. She married the love of her life, James R. “Jim” Johnson on Nov. 12, 1963 in Carterville.

Survivors include her husband of Mendota; one daughter, Katherine (Jim) Gross of LaMoille; two sisters, Judy Stewart and Joan (Ray) DeVault, both of Mendota; one sister-in-law, Mary Dalton of Peru; four grandsons, James (Elyssa) Albers of West Brooklyn, Justin (Hollie) Albers of Compton, Jacob Albers of Rochelle and Jordan Albers of Mendota; and three great-grandchildren, Raelynn and Nash Albers of Compton and David Albers of West Brooklyn.

She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Donald, Robert and Norman Dalton; her beloved sister, Marge McFarland; brothers-in-law, Everett McFarland and John Stewart; sisters-in-law, Delphine Dalton and Barb Dalton; brother-in-law, Donald Johnson; and two brothers and a sister in infancy.

Shirley graduated from Mendota High School where she attended with her lifelong friend Rose Caster. She held many jobs throughout the years, starting at the “show” Mendota Theater, Swift’s Feed Mill, Black Bros., Classon’s Super Foods, Shell gas station, Mendota Cable Company and finally as a school bus driver for the Mendota School District. She enjoyed reading, baking and sewing. She was also an avid gardener, growing flowers, fruits and vegetables which she and Jim spent countless hours tending. When gardening became difficult, Jim constructed raised beds so she could continue her love of growing things. Shirley and Jim took yearly family vacations, first camping in southern Illinois with her sister and brother-in-law, Marge and Mac McFarland, and then snowmobiling in Wisconsin with Jim’s aunt and uncle, Doris and Fred Yost. As grandchildren and great grandchildren arrived, the entire family enjoyed vacationing on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. She never turned down a spirited card game and playing euchre was a favorite past time.

Memorials may be directed to the family. Online condolences may be left at