Date of Birth
Date of Death
JAY L. JOHNSEN, Age 84 of rural St. Charles, passed away at Delnor Community Hospital, Geneva, Thursday, January 10, 2008 after a long and courageous battle with declining health. He was born November 23, 1923, in Geneva, IL, the son of Jens and Anna Christine (Johansen) Johnsen. GROW UP- EDUCATIONHe grew up in the Elburn and Geneva areas where his family farmed on various lands, including one of the Garfield family farms to which Jay would one day return to make his own. Ironically, it was at the creek on that farm that he first met the little girl who would one day become his wife and partner in farming. MARRIAGE & FAMILYOn June 19, 1946 Jay was united in marriage to Lyla Y. Divine. They made their home with Lyla’s brother, Bill and his wife Marilyn and the two couples set out with the dream of owning their own farms. They began on the Beith Farm where they farmed for three years until 1949 when Jay and Lyla moved to the Warne farm west of Elburn and there, bought their first herd of dairy cows. In 1952 they moved to the Zeller Farm near Elgin and farmed there until 1960 when they purchased the present family farm homestead where Jay’s family lived when he was a boy Through the years they would farm many acres throughout the area. The Johnsen families eventually purchased 1,000 acres near DeKalb. The soft-spoken, Jay also sold Pioneer seed corn among his many friends and was known for his straight-forward honesty and dependability. Jay worked hard all of his life but also knew how to make time for fun, family and community.Jay always loved sports and managed to fit a game of catch into the daily chores. He sponsored and organized ball teams and his boys always knew that dad and mom were routing for them from the stands. He and Lyla started the Kane County Rural Youth program and later, the Elgin Eagles 4-H and the LaFox Boys 4-H which, at one time, was the largest in the state of Illinois.They also started the Lords and Ladies Square Dance Club in Elgin, and were very involved in the LaFox Farmer’s Clubthe AMPI (Associated Milk Producers Inc.).the Board of Directors of Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Jay was a member of the Geneva United Methodist Church, Served on the Farm Home Administration and And for many years was Superintendent of the Garfield Cemetery.Jay also rented from Elva Garfield and then, Garfield Farm, for over thirty years and supported the conservation efforts of this community asset and resource.SURVIVORS He is survived by his wife of 61 and a half years, Lyla,Four sons:Steven of Denver, CO;And his son: Marc-Paul Jay (Melissa) Johnsen and his daughter: Evelyn Winter Johnsen;Rodney (Diane) Johnsen of LaFox, ILAnd their family: Grant and Ryan Johnsen.K.C. (Phyllis ) Johnsen of Batavia, ILAnd their family: Nicole and Ben JohnsenTodd (Linda) Johnsen of St. Charles, ILAnd their family Kaitlyn and TaraTwo siblings: Marcia Filip of Vancouver, WA;Merle Johnsen of Southern, IL Many nieces and nephews and their families and a countryside of friends. three sisters-in-law:Lois Divine of St. Charles, Judy Johnsen of FloridaMarilyn Divine of Lancaster, WI. ;Two former sisters-in-law:Joyce Rislow of Arizona andVi Johnsen of Geneva, ILPRECEDED Siblings: Evelyn GricunasLyle Johnsen,Philip JohnsenIra JohnsenRalph Johnsen andJoyce Johnsen. One Sister-in-law Merilyn DivineThree brothers-in-law: Bill Divine, Bob Filip andPeter Gricunas;as well as his step-mother, Mabel Johnsen.VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 15, 2007, 2pm- 8 pm at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce Street, Elburn. Funeral services will follow Wednesday, January 16, 2007 at 10:30am at the funeral home. Jay’s son, Steven Johnsen, pastor of the Denver Inner City Parish, will officiate and interment will follow at Garfield Cemetery, Garfield Road, Campton Twp.MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Jay’s name to benefit Denver Inner City Parish, the Garfield Farm and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Jay Johnsen Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at www.conleycare.com.
A memorial has been established in Jay’s name to benefit Denver Inner City Parish, the Garfield Farm and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Jay Johnsen Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at www.conleycare.com.