Evelyn Mary Lou Johns

Feb. 4, 1927 – June 3, 2009

Evelyn Mary Lou Johns, 82, of Platteville, lost her battle with cancer and passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at Gray’s Nursing Home, Platteville.

Evelyn was born Feb. 4, 1927, in Montfort, the sixth of nine children to Alvin and Lulu (nee Sturdevant) Knutson. She graduated from Montfort High School as valedictorian and married an Army Air Corps soldier, Charles “Jim” Johns, on Aug. 9, 1945. After Jim was discharged from the Army at the end of World War II, they made their home in Platteville. They purchased and moved to a small farm on the east side of town in 1954, where they continued to live until their passing. Jim preceded Evelyn in death in 1997.

Evelyn began working at the dental office of Dr. Gilbert Waite on May 18, 1962. She was asked to fill in for a vacationing receptionist. When the receptionist returned, she announced she had gotten married and was not returning to work. Evelyn worked for Dr. Waite, first as a receptionist, then as his dental assistant and bookkeeper until his retirement in 1987. She continued working for Dr. Keith Knutson until 1990. Evelyn worked for Dr. Waite and his family for 43 years until her retirement in May 2005. Evelyn loved to spend time with family and friends, especially doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her passions were cooking, playing cards and traveling. She was active in swim aerobics, where she planned many of their social events. It was her friendly smile, enthusiasm and passion for life that touched those around her. She was a member of the Montfort United Methodist Church and was active in the Hillcrest Cemetery Association. In 1990, Evelyn received the Grant County Older Worker Award.

Honoring her memory are three children, Barbara Prindiville of Oconomowoc, Nancy (Craig) Bowers of West Bend and Charles Johns of Westminster, Colo.; grandchildren, Mark (Hyung Jung) Johnsen of Sunnyvale, Calif., Lianne (David) Stephenson of Madison, Craig Graves of Ames, Iowa, and Kathryn (Omar) Madrid of Robbinsdale, Minn.; greatgrandchildren, Hana and Isaak Johnsen and Sophia Stephenson; a stepgreatgrandson, Axel Madrid; a brother, Curtis (Myrtle) Knutson of Madison; sisters, Bernice (John) Novotny of Phoenix and Betty Schrader of Platteville; brothers-inlaw, Palmer Peterson and Alan Wells, both of Madison; sisters-in-law, Violet Knutson of Richland Center and Virginia Knutson of Beaver Dam; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Everett and Calvin Knutson; sisters, Luella Novotny, Judy Wells and Elvyria Peterson; and brother-in-law, Milan Novotny.

Even though Evelyn loved roses, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to the Evelyn M. Johns Waukesha County Technical College Scholarship Fund or the Evelyn M. Johns UW-Platteville Scholarship Fund.

Evelyn’s children wish to give a special thank you to the Mayo Clinic and University Hospital oncology departments for giving Evelyn a few more months with her family, which is what she desired most; to Dr. Viner and his nurse, Ann, of Internal Medicine in Dubuque, Iowa, for taking care of her through the years; and to Gray’s Nursing Home for helping the family through a difficult time. Most important, the deepest and most heartfelt thank you to all of Evelyn’s close friends who have supported her throughout her illness.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 12, at Melby-Bendorf Funeral Home & Crematory, 1245 N. Water St. , Platteville. Visitation continues from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Saturday, June 13, at Montfort United Methodist Church , Montfort. The Rev. Gary Benzschawel is officiating. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery , Montfort.

Melby-Bendorf Funeral Home & Crematory, (608) 348-2121, is serving the family.