Melanie Joy Johnson

October 30, 1952 - February 13, 2021
Melanie Johnson

Melanie Joy Johnson, age 68, of La Crosse, WI, died Saturday February 13, 2021 from cancer.

She was the daughter of Joyce and the late Art Johnson. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her 3 siblings, Nancy (Stephen) Johnson Russell, Tim (Barb) Johnson, Monte (Mary) Johnson. She is also survived by Nieces and Nephews: Debbie (Josh) Ackerman, David (Jenny) Russell, Tom Russell, Jessie (Joey) Johnson, Chris Johnson, Taryn Johnson, Ryan (Audra) Keeney, Melanie Kathleen Johnson, Merrick Johnson, and MacKenzie Johnson.

She was known as “Aunt Melanie” to many, because of her friendliness and outgoing personality. If she met you, you became her friend. Living up to her middle name of “Joy”, she spread joy and kindness to many she met on life’s journey, young and old alike.

Some of her special friends included: “Sisters of the Seventies” aka “The Hens”: Jeri, Shirley, Debi, Kitty, Jan, Betty, Sue; dear friends Mary (Wozniak) Thompson, Dave, Kim, and Caleb Sisbach, long time neighbors Jane, Ron, Michael, and Robert Fitzpatrick; as well as so many others too numerous to name.

Melanie graduated from Central High School in La Crosse and went on to earn a BS/Nursing degree from the UW- Madison. Her nursing career included work at Gundersen Hospital, Watkins Manor, and her caring spirit went beyond her career and included caring for her mother. She was active in the La Crosse community, the Public Library system and as a lifelong member of First Congregational Church.

Her love of family, friends and travel were driving forces of her life and all enjoyed her cooking and baking as she viewed food as an expression of love, with her kitchen quote: “Food is love made edible”. She was also a life long learner and excelled at word games.

She had many travel and cruise adventures with her friend Jeri, as well as travel with her sister to Alaska, multiple trips with her brother’s family to the Bahamas and a special trip with her siblings to the Grand Canyon just one month ago.

She partied hardy in her life, loved to be at events, share in family and friends’ special days, and now gets to garden and play cribbage with her dad. Her joy of life will be missed, as well as her incredible cookies!

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Gil Harmon of Gundersen Health System Medical Oncology for outstanding professionalism, care and compassion.

Memorial gifts can be directed to First Congregational UCC Church, 2503 Main Street, La Crosse 54601, Friends of the La Crosse Public Library, 800 Main Street, La Crosse 54601 or The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, 1240 Clinton Street, La Crosse 54603.

A memorial service will be held when the situation allows for such, hopefully this summer.