The Wondrous Life of
Marileen Elizabeth Johnson
January 18, 1927 – 2021
Marileen Elizabeth Bolay Johnson was born in Falls City, Nebraska to Charles and Elsie Bolay. At 18 she left the farm for Westmar College graduating with a B.S. in Biology and meeting her beloved husband Don, of 70 years. In 1951, Don and Marileen were married and the adventure began. They moved to Boston in 1955 where Don attended graduate school at Boston University and Marileen taught at Honeywell Elementary in Wellesley, MA (her granddaughter later attended Wellesley College). An educator at heart, Marileen’s career as an elementary school teacher grew to working with adults developing, publishing and teaching Parent Education Programs throughout the world.
Soon, Marileen and Don were the parents of two daughters, Ann and Mary. They lived and worked in churches throughout Massachusetts and later Iowa. In 1977, they joined the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA),a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. Being part of the ICA they developed lifelong friendships through their activism.
Marileen’s kind smile hid a Warrior for social justice. A member of the League of Women Voters for over 50 years and an active member of Planned Parenthood since 1987, Marileen assisted national and local leaders to achieve office, and pass legislation as well as working on Peace Education and Peace Initiatives.