Julie Johnson, left, and Lauren Busalacchi hold the net that was presented to Johnson in February after the Ripon College women’s basketball team won the Midwest Conference tournament.
Julie Johnson, left, and Lauren Busalacchi hold the net that was presented to Johnson in February after the Ripon College women’s basketball team won the Midwest Conference tournament.

   Ripon College administrative assistant Linda Jess asked Julie Johnson a couple months ago how she wanted to be remembered.

   The response from the hall of fame athletic director and former women’s basketball coach caught her a little bit off guard.

   “She said she wants to be remembered as being ‘kind,’” Jess said. “I said, ‘That’s an understatement.’”

   Johnson is being remembered for a lot more than that by her colleagues following her passing last week Thursday after a three-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.

   Among the words her co-workers used to describe her? “Tough,” “fighter,” “focused,” “determined,” “phenomenal” and “passionate.”

   Many more words will be shared Friday during a public celebration of life service, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Willmore Center on the Ripon College campus. A special visitation will be held prior to the celebration from 4 to 6 p.m.

Read the full story, with many anecdotes from her colleagues, in the June 20, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.