Shrewsbury – Alice I. (Wood) Johnson, 86, a lifelong Shrewsbury resident, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, Thursday, May 17, 2018.
Alice was born March 23, 1932 in Worcester, a daughter of Samuel L. and Irma A. (Arnold) Wood. Raised in Shrewsbury, she graduated from Shrewsbury High School in 1949, and earned her degree in nursing from City Hospital School of Nursing in 1953.
Alice began her career as a nurse in Worcester City Hospital for the next 13 years before leaving the hospital as a nurse supervisor to accept a position as a school nurse with Shrewsbury Public Schools. She ensured children in Shrewsbury were medically cared for, served with compassion and counseling, and is still remembered to this day by her students as Mrs. J.
She also traveled with various performance groups, serving as the school nurse. Music was incredibly important to her; she was a founding member and active volunteer of the Shrewsbury Schools Music Association.
Notably during her time in the school system, she advocated for, and succeeded in getting, school nurses placed on the town teacher’s salary schedule. She was also a member of the National Education Association and Massachusetts Teacher Association.
Shortly after graduation from nursing school in 1953, Alice married Chester G. “Chet” Johnson Sr., and for the next 49 years, with extremely high energy, she raised five children and earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Anna Maria College. Also during this time, she worked as a nurse and co-founded the Shrewsbury Lawnmower Service with Chet and her parents.
Alice spent many years volunteering at the Shrewsbury Senior Center and also held the position of treasurer of the Friends of the Senior Center. She always looked out for those less fortunate than her, often inviting others to join in on family events. She enjoyed sharing her home on Lake Quinsigamond with family and friends.
Alice remained active in the town until she became ill and couldn’t help anymore. She was awarded several times for her dedication to Shrewsbury. In 1996, Alice was nominated and awarded by her colleagues the Massachusetts School Nurse Organization School Nurse of the Year Award, and, in 2016, she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Town of Shrewsbury for recognition of valuable contributions as a Volunteer for the Council on Aging.
Alice had a larger than life personality, and she loved whole-heartedly and unconditionally, making many friends throughout her lifetime. She proudly, faithfully, and generously supported the Armed Forces and the American way of life. Always speaking her mind, she shared her very definitive views on life without holding back — you never had to guess what she was thinking!
She loved to travel, especially with her children and grandchildren. She shared a love of learning, exploring, and music with them. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Alice is survived by her five children, Sandra Johnson Weed, Sharon Milosz and her husband Joseph Milosz Jr, all of Shrewsbury, Chester “Gus” Johnson Jr. and his wife Colleen of Chatham, and Paul Johnson and his wife Debbie and David Johnson and his wife Laura, also all of Shrewsbury; eight cherished grandchildren, Joseph Milosz III, Lynn Milosz, Kimberly Weed, Rachel (Johnson) Derrane, Jamie Weed, Erica Johnson, Samuel Johnson, and Dot Kelleher; as well as many other extended family members and friends.
Friends and relatives are invited to calling hours Monday, May 21, from 5-8 p.m., in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. Her funeral service will be held Tuesday, May 22, at 11 a.m., in the funeral home. Burial next to Chester will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.