WYANET — The Wyanet Village Board met on Tuesday, but one member was not in attendance after 20 years of faithful service to the board. Marilyn Johnson died on Sunday, Oct. 8, at Perry Memorial Hospital as a result of a car accident. The normally very talkative and excited board was quiet and subdued while a single red rose sat on the table in front of Johnson’s seat.
Johnson is survived by her husband, Curtis, whom she married in 1965, a son and daughter-in-law, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as other family members.
“Marilyn's family meant everything to her,” Village Clerk Shelley Teske said.
Mayor Bruce Hand said Johnson was seated on the board in the mid-90’s. He said what he and the other members of the board valued most was her commitment, loyalty and generosity to the village of Wyanet.
“Marilyn worked with and supported the people regardless of how long she knew them. She gave her time freely to the village whenever needed,” Hand said.
Teske added, “Marilyn was one of the most honest and considerate people I’ve known. She had a heart of gold, never complained and would do anything to help someone out.”
Trustee Cory Peterson, who served on the Wyanet Board with Johnson for the past several years, said, “Marilyn has been dedicated to this village more than a lot of people see or hear. She has been serving our people for as long as I can remember and has put her heart and soul into it.”
Johnson served on the cemetery and parks committee as well as the water, sewer and sanitation committee. She was instrumental in getting pipes lined and updated over the past few years as well as getting new water meters installed in every home and business in the village.
Trustee Joe Law served not only on the board with Johnson but also on both committees with her.
Law said, “Marilyn was pivotal in the village upgrading all the water meters, and many people will never know how much she truly cared about our town. She will be truly missed.”
Teske shared a story that shows just how dedicated Johnson was to the village.
“About three years ago we had trouble with a homeowner's frozen water line. One problem led to another that night and as the chairman of the water committee, Marilyn felt it was her responsibility to help in any way she could. She stayed out in the freezing weather until almost midnight just in case there was something she could do to help. She will truly be missed not only as a trustee, but a dear friend, “ said Teske.
Johnson also was known for her willingness to donate items that the village needed. Both Hand and Teske mentioned that she would dig up her own flowers to plant on village property. Johnson would also attend the Ace Distribution Center employee’s sale to get paint, grass seed, mulch or landscaping stones and would never submit a bill to the village. Hand said she didn’t want to call attention to herself.
Hand said, “We all have our personal and special memories of Marilyn. Her devotion and dedication to the village, community and people will be sorely missed. She was a genuine person that gave not because she had to, but because she wanted to. I feel privileged and fortunate to have had her in my life. She was a good person and friend with an abundance of love and generosity. She will be missed by all of us.”
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