Mary Johnson

Obituary of Mary Ellen Johnson

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Mary Ellen Kiah Johnson of Brewer, passed away peacefully November 19, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor surrounded by her husband, Mike, and four children.

Early on in her life, she was an avid tap dancer and she traveled the country with her mother, Madelin Kiah and brother, Paul Kiah, performing at conferences for U.S. postmasters and various Democratic Party functions. She graduated from Brewer High School in 1966, where she had been a delegate to Maine’s Girls State program, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Maine in 1970. While at the University of Maine, she joined Alpha Delta Pi, which she was always proud to say was the nation’s first sorority. Prior to her death, she celebrated more than 50 years of membership as a sister of Alpha Delta Pi.

Mary Ellen was passionately dedicated to her family, her students and her community, first teaching nursery school out of her home. Later, she taught special education at Hermon Middle School for more than 30 years in addition to simultaneously teaching writing and public speaking courses at Bangor’s Adult Education program, helping hundreds of non-traditional students attain high school diplomas, GEDs, and prepare for college.

Further, she worked on the weekends, summers and evenings as a U.S. Customs Agent, always coming home with stories of people clearing customs from other countries, including the first troops to return to Bangor from the Gulf War. Later, her detail switched from Bangor to Bar Harbor, with the CAT ferry and early cruise ship travelers. She always loved trips to the coast for business or pleasure, and some of her best memories are of visits to Bar Harbor with her children and later grandchildren, watching them dance to the juke box at Rosalie’s Pizza.

Over the years, she also was a proud owner of Black Labrador dogs, and in her last few years, took particular joy in her dog and loyal companion, Tessie. She will be remembered fondly by friends and family, such as her dear friend, Annalee Libby, who sent her baked goods every week during the last few years.

 Mary Ellen is predeceased by her father, Richard A. Kiah and mother, Madelin F. Kiah. She is survived by her devoted husband of 54 years, Michael J. Johnson, and her four children and their families, Mary Alice Johnson of Oakland, Maine and her two children, Cherish and Omari Johnson; Mary Colleen Johnson Ward and her husband Andrew Ward of Ellicott City, Maryland and their children, Christopher and Courtney Ward; Michael and Hillary Johnson of Farmingdale, Maine and their children, Olivia and Noah Johnson; and Mary Kathleen and Sam Bromberg of Oakland, Maine and their children, Harry and Cecilia Bromberg, as well as her brother, Paul Kiah of Melvin Village, New Hampshire.

A celebration of life will be held Sturday, 1 to 4 PM on December 302023 at Jeff’s Catering & Event Center, 15 Event Center Way, Brewer.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to a scholarship fund in the name of Michael and Mary Ellen Johnson at John Bapst Memorial High School, c/o Development Office, 100 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401. Messages and memories may be shared with her family on the tribute wall of

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Johnson, please visit Tribute Store

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, December 30, 2023
Jeff's Catering & Event Center
15 Eventcenter Way
Brewer, Maine, United States
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About this Event
Mary Johnson

In Loving Memory

Mary Johnson

1948 - 2023

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