Johnson Carruthers, nee Van Damme, of West Bend died on Saturday, March
2, 2013, at the Samaritan Health Center at the age of 89. She was born
on Sept. 5, 1923, in Norway, Mich. to the late Frank and Edna (nee
Neveau) Van Damme. Corrine’s siblings were Phyllis Van Damme
(predeceased) and Orville Van Damme (predeceased).
Corrine graduated Norway High School in Norway, Mich. at the top of her
class in 1942.
In 1942, Corrine was united in marriage for 19 years to Kenneth R.
Johnson (predeceased) in Norway, Mich. and celebrated the birth of their
five children: Larry, Robert, Sharon, Tom and Rick Johnson.
During World War II in the 1940s, while her husband served overseas with
the United States Navy, she worked in a clothing factory proudly sewing
uniforms for World War II U.S. military soldiers and personal.
In the 1950s-’60s, Corrine earned several awards of distinction though
her dedication and success while holding managerial positions with Judy
Lee Jewels, Sara Coventry Jewelry and Avon.
Corrine resided in Marshfield with her family in the 1960s and, on Oct.
13, 1962, Corrine married William Carruthers and celebrated the birth of
their daughter, Laurie Carruthers. Corrine and Bill were happily married
for 49 years. Corrine’s beloved husband, Bill, passed away on Oct. 12,
2011. The two will now be joined again in spirit.
Corrine received honored recognition in 2000 from the Veterans of
Foreign Wars of the United States for faithful support of America’s
deserving veterans and the their families. In addition, she was
recognized by The Help Hospitalized Veterans Organization for her
kindness, thoughtfulness, constant caring, and unselfish generosity and
received “A Donor of the Year 2004” on behalf of the thousands of
hospitalized veterans. She was also a member of the Loyal Member of the
Moose and the Lions Club.
Throughout their lives Corrine and Bill enjoyed golfing and traveling
throughout the United States and Canada, visiting and meeting many Moose
Lodge Members and making new friends.
Corrine volunteered to teach the Catholic CCD Program for the youth at
Holy Angels Church, West Bend and at her church in Rockford, Ill. In the
1970s, she became a city crossing guard on the corner of Seventh Avenue
and Chestnut Street in the city of West Bend.
Her hobbies included craft work, knitting, sewing, macramé, painting,
cooking and baking, gardening, canning, entertaining, and playing cards,
games and music. She was a Green Bay Packers fan at heart, and supported
her grandchildren growing up. Corrine and Bill were often thought of as
loving professional Grandparents.
Corrine is survived by four children: Sharon (Johnson) Butch of West
Bend, Tom (Robbie) Johnson of Middleton, Rick Johnson of Jackson, and
Laurie (Frank) Restifo of Brecksville, Ohio and daughter-in-law Norene
(Larry) Johnson of West Bend. She was the proud grandmother of 17
grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, two great-greatgrandchildren,
brother-inlaw Bob (Phyllis) McCabe of Norway, Mich. and sistersin- law
Margo Berg-quist of West Bend, and Carolyn (Lyn) (David) Carruthers of
San Diego, along with many other relatives and friends. In addition to
her husband Bill, her former husband Ken, and her parents, she was
preceded in death by her two sons, Robert Johnson in 1948 and Larry
Johnson in 2007.
Our special thanks and deep appreciation to the Samaritan Health Center,
West Bend and the third floor staff for their kindness, care and
respected dedication and The Gentiva Hospice Team, West Allis, for
family guidance and support for our beloved mother’s comfort and
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 11 at
6 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church, West Bend, with the Rev. Jerome
The family will greet relatives and friends at the church beginning at
5:30 p.m. There will be food and refreshments provided for friends and
family. The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend will be serving the
“Gone not forgotten, although we are apart, your spirit lives within
us, forever in our hearts.”