Patricia M. (Groff)
Johnson, of Chesterton, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2018, at the age
of 89, in the company of her family.
She leaves behind
her four children, Craig Wayne (Bonnie Gifford) of Portage, Gary Wayne, Jill
Wayne Bucy and Dean Wayne of Chesterton, as well as her six grandchildren,
Nicholas Wayne, Zachary Bucy, Bo Wayne, Drew Wayne, Danielle (Paul) Vale,
and Jessica DiFiore.
She is also
survived by her sister Jo Ann Marcoff, of Hobart, as well as many nieces and
Patricia was a
fourth generation Chestertonian. Members of her family first came to the
area from Germany in the 1850’s and settled as farmers near Burdick. Her
parents were the late Felix S. Groff and Phyllis R. Wiesemann. Her
grandparents were George and Jozefa (Koziarek) Groff and John P. and
Elizabeth (Rosenberg) Wiesemann. Patricia was also preceded in death by her
brothers Robert, Richard, Eugene, and Ronald Groff, and sisters Maxine Meade
and Barbara Whitton.
Patricia, the fifth
of eight children, was born in Chesterton on September 1, 1928, in her
family’s home located on the corner of Second and Jefferson streets where
her father owned and operated the Groff Funeral Home at the time. Growing up
in a funeral home provided her with a lifetime of amusing and sometimes
ghoulish tales. She was a lifelong parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic
Church, and as a young girl she attended both St. Patrick School and
Chesterton High School.
In 1948, Patricia
married Robert A. Wayne (deceased) of Valparaiso and together they had four
Later, on November
28, 1970, she married Jeffery S. Johnson of Baillytown. For 45 years, he was
the anchor of her life and together they created a close and cohesive
family. After Pat suffered a stroke, Jeff was an especially attentive and
conscientious caregiver before his own passing in 2016.
In earlier years,
Pat was employed as a retail manager at the former Lowenstein’s Department
Store in Valparaiso and at Lerner’s Fashion Shop in the Marquette Mall in
Michigan City, two jobs she was especially fond of recalling.
We who were closest
to her will probably most remember how devoted she was to her family. All of
her life she sacrificed, supported and protected her children and
grandchildren, usually in quiet and unassuming ways, but always in ways that
made an important difference. Her house was always our home, even though we
had long ago moved away. She wanted her family around her and we were happy
to oblige; we always came home again. Because so many of us lived close by,
she often joked that we were slowly moving in on her.
She was a great
lover of the holidays and had every detail down to an aesthetic and culinary
science. We’ve learned from her, but sadly, will never rise to her level of
mastery. Our holidays will never quite be the same again.
During the last
four years, she was severely limited by a stroke, but one of her greatest
wishes was to dance again someday. Now, Nan, you can go dancing into the
good night with the oldies turned up loud.
A Mass of Christian
Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 7, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Patrick
Catholic Church, 638 N Calumet Rd., Chesterton, with Rev. Nate Edquist
The family will
receive relatives and friends at the church from 9:00 until the time of the
Mass. Graveside services will be held at St. Patrick Cemetery following the
In lieu of flowers,
the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Mitchell A. Winey
Scholarship Fund through Centier Bank, 103 Broadway, Chesterton IN, 46304;
the VNA Foundation, 2401 Valley Dr., Valparaiso, IN 46383; or a charity of
wishes to extend our deepest gratitude to the caregivers and staff at
Addison Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center in Chesterton. We thank you
for all the kindness, care, concern and support you showed for our mother
and grandmother. We are also grateful to the compassionate workers from
Dunes Hospice who joined in to help at a very difficult time.
handled by Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton, IN 46304.