Johanna R. Williams, 78, of Hebron passed away Friday, June 30, 2023. She was born April 9, 1945 to Arthur “Pete” & Barbara (Carlberg) Williams, graduated from Boone Grove High School and received a B.A. and Masers degree from Indiana University, Bloomington in Education. Johanna made her career as an elementary teacher at Central Elementary and Memorial Elementary in Valparaiso for nearly 40 years claiming to have loved ALL “her” children.
Johanna believed in being active and involved in her community. She was a life member of Salem United Methodist Church, Hebron where she was also chairperson of their Memorial Fund, enjoyed singing in the Sweet Adelines Chapter of Great Lakes Sound Chorus, served on the Porter Township School Board, judges 4-H competition in clothing and foods at the Lake County Fair, and remained active with the retired teachers and alumni associations and various other clubs & organizations. As an accomplished seamstress she sewed two wedding gowns along with countless other garments over the decades and enjoyed crocheting. Longtime membership in the Rural Youth organization saw her role become that of a matriarch guiding the younger, more rambunctious “kids” into adulthood.
Survivors include her siblings; Rodney Williams, B. Elaine (John) Rado, half-sister, Teresa, nephews; Bryan J. Rado, Raymond & Robert Novotney, nieces; Arlena Trapp, Patricia Herrera, Alisha & Brittany and numerous cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Caroline Schott and brothers, David & Keith Williams.
A visitation will be held Thursday, July 6th from 4 – 6 pm at Moeller Funeral Home, Valparaiso with funeral service beginning at 6:00 pm, Rev. Tom Clark officiating. A private burial of ashes will take place at a later date at Salem Cemetery, Hebron. Memorial donations may be made to Salem United Methodist Church or the Sweet Adelines.
Johanna was a spark plug of innovation while active in Rural Youth. She was very active with the Hoosier Recreation Workshop and was the Executive Secretary for several years. She will be missed. My condolences to the family. -Mike Jones, Consultant - Indiana Rural Youth Alumni Reunion
Johanna was my friend and confidant for a number of years. She was witty, a person who could maintain lively conversation late into the night and a rock who could be trusted to have the best interests of her friends in that conversation. Her life was special and a tribute to her upbringing. She is a loss to you here for the moment, but you gain an advocate in Heaven. Please be at peace. -Tom McCoy
Our family knew Johanna as "Miss Williams" as she had both of my children when she was teaching at Central School. I always knew our students were in the best of care if they were in her room. My sincere sympathy in her passing. -Sharon Harris
My deepest sympathies- Miss Williams was one of my favorite teachers. I had her for 3rd grade at Banta in 1966-67. I still remember her vividly to this day. She made a lasting impact on me and many of my classmates. We still get together and every time, we talk about her and our favorite teachers. Prayers for your family. I will never forget Miss Williams. -Becky Dillon Nunnelee
Many a mile Jo rode with us; Many a friend Jo made with us: Many are we that will miss her, Until that Rural Youth Reunion beyond.... -Dick Bower
She was a wonderful aunt. I have so many cherished memories. Hoosier rec, trips, the pool, and dinners. May she rest in peace until her resurrection. Your favorite twin, -Arlena Trapp
A classmate at Boone Grove High school 1963. Knew Jo from first grade on thru school and after. We didn't see each other often but when we did it was as if we had talked just the day before. Best friend, Bridesmaid in my wedding and an all around wonderful person and teacher. My condolences to the family. I shall miss her. Rest in peace, -Jane Kreiger Pecor