Mary Jane Johnson, 67, of Ely, dies

Mary Jane Johnson, 67, of Ely, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. She was born on February 5, 1950, and was the daughter of John and Ann Benko.
Mary Jane had been a lifelong resident of Ely. She attended the Ely schools, graduating in 1968, and afterward from Ely Junior College. Mary Jane went on to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth, graduating with a degree in elementary education. In later years, she achieved a Master of Education degree.
Along with husband Doug, she spent many years in the tourist business. They managed the Fall Lake Campground, owned Johnson’s Wilderness Canoe Trips, and owned and operated Big Farm Lake Resort. Mary Jane was also a substitute teacher in the Ely school district. In 1988, she was hired to teach fourth grade in Ely, which she enjoyed for twenty years. Teaching was one of her greatest joys. She was dedicated to her teaching and she stressed the importance of education to her students. To this day, she is fondly remembered by her former students. Another joy for Mary was spending time with her three grandchildren. She also enjoyed walking, playing Bunco, fishing, and reading. She loved playing with her two dogs Brandy and Lady.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband Douglas Johnson, of Ely; son Derek (Tammy) Johnson, of Ely; daughter Devon (Jason) Brazil, of Minneapolis; sister Sally (Greg) Jerich, of Eagle River, Alaska; and three grandchildren: Matthew Johnson, Dylan Brazil, and Andrew Johnson.
She was preceded in death by her parents John and Ann Benko.
A service in memory of Mary Jane will be held this spring. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.