Marjorie Anne Ferrell, 96, of Beaver Dam passed away on Monday, November 15, 2021 at Clearview Nursing Home in Juneau.
Born on November 10, 1925 in Auburndale, Marjorie Anne Ferrell spent her childhood either in the Stratford Lutheran church as her mother played the organ or at the counter of her father’s ice cream store in Marshfield. While attending high school in Marshfield, she played alto saxophone in the band and found a niche in forensics and theater. At Ripon College she was prom queen and honored for athletic and scholastic achievements. She was granted her degree in English and Drama along with a teaching certificate in 1946. She went on to teach in the Ripon school system and the Oregon School for Girls of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
After marrying WW2 Navy veteran, Carl Johnson, also of Marshfield, she set aside her teaching career to make homes in Madison, Kaukauna, and Beaver Dam. She gave birth to two children, Jeffrey and Cheryl. While assisting Carl in managing his retail pharmacy businesses, she volunteered at churches and in the community. She was particularly active in community theater, directing and acting in a variety of productions.
As her children matured she turned to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she received her Master’s in Communication Arts. Her master’s thesis documented her innovative work in psycho-drama for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at Taycheedah Prison. She returned to teaching school in Burlington, Belvidere, Illinois, and Park Ridge in suburban Chicago.
While in the Chicago area she followed what had been a lifelong interest and enrolled at the Chicago Theological Seminary earning a Master’s in Divinity. This led to her ordination as a pastor in the United Church of Christ and service in a parish at Random Lake. She completed her pastoral career as a hospital chaplain in Omaha, Nebraska, Hines VA in Chicago, and William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital in Madison.
After retirement she spent time travelling, camping, playing cards, and following Brewers baseball. She moved back to Beaver Dam to be closer to her grandchildren, Constance and Jacqueline, and cared for her ex-husband as he died. She lived to grieve the deaths of her parents, Otis and Lydia, her two sisters, Shirley and Arla, two nephews, Jerry and Georgie, and a niece, Donna Mae. She was delighted to have lived long enough to have met her great grandchildren, Gabriela, Josiah, Burklee, and Oaklee, and to have adored her two pet Bichons, Felice and Gabe.
Her favorite bible verse was “Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46,v10.
Her favorite hymn was “Amazing Grace.”
A memorial gathering will be held at Harvest Church in Beaver Dam on Friday, November 19, 2021 from 10 a.m. until the time of the memorial service at 11 a.m. Inurnment will take place at Highland Memory Gardens, township of Trenton.
Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com.