Ethelyn's Story

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Ethelyn E. Johann, a devoted Quaker who possessed a passion for peace, passed away late Wednesday night, Nov. 17, 2010, at Otsego Manor. A resident of the Village of Cooperstown, she was 93.
Born Dec. 2, 1916, in Riverhead on Long Island, Ethelyn was the daughter of Earl and Edith (Wilson) Firth. As a young girl, she and her parents moved to Brooklyn, where she graduated from Erasmus High School.
On Valentine’s Day in 1948, she married Harold Francis Johann in a ceremony in Baltimore, Md. They lived briefly in the New York City area until moving to Middletown, where they settled and Ethelyn devoted herself to caring for her home and family. She was also employed as a secretary, and through the years worked on Wall Street in New York City, as well as in the fields of insurance and real estate in Middletown.
Following her husband’s death in 1969, Ethelyn moved to Anaheim, Calif., to care for a friend of hers. Although her friend later died, Ethelyn decided that she liked California and decided to stay. A fear of earthquakes, though, always persisted, and in 1989, she decided to move back East to be near family and settled in Cooperstown.
A social activist who constantly strived for peace in our world, Ethelyn was a longtime and dedicated member of the Butternuts Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Cooperstown. One of her passions was prison ministry, and she often visited with inmates at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility. She was especially devoted to the cause of peace, and could often be found as part of the vigil line in front of the post office in Cooperstown. This woman of strong convictions and opinion who never stopped working for peace will be missed by her wide circle of friends.
Ethelyn is survived by her daughter, Lisbeth Gianfagna of Roosevelt, N.J., and a cousin, Roberta L. Wood of Cooperstown.
In accordance with Ethelyn’s wishes, there will be no services.
For those who so desire, memorial donations may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  November 25, 2010
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