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Page Johnson Parkhill departed her earthly life to enter into God’s eternal kingdom. Page passed away on January 11, 2018 at 3:12pm at home surrounded by her family after a courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) . Page was born on September 25th, 1956 in Champaign, IL to Dr. William S. and Charlotte Keck Johnson. She is survived by her husband John whom she married on March 31, 1979, and her two beloved children, Whitney of Champaign and Clayton (Stephanie) of Champaign, all of whom brought her extraordinary joy. Also surviving are her two brothers, William L Johnson (Peggy) of Monticello and David L Johnson (Teresa) of Mount Pleasant, SC. She is also survived by nieces and nephews. Proceeding her in death were her parents, her paternal grandparents, Leo and Henrietta Johnson and her maternal grandparents, Charles and Edith Keck, all of Champaign.
She attended Champaign schools including Southside, Edison, and Central High School where she graduated as one of the Valedictorians of her class in 1974. She was a state finalist in extemporaneous speech. She attended Duke University in 1974-1976 where she was a member of the varsity debate team and then transferred to the University of Illinois where she graduated with high honors in 1978 with a B.S. in Finance. It was Page’s pleasure to have been a member of numerous organizations throughout the course of her life. She was a lifelong member of Emmanual Memorial Episcopal Church being baptized, confirmed and married in that parish; she served two terms on the Vestry and twice as a Rector’s Warden. Her parish family blessed her immensely with their love, support, and care. Her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, was always close to her heart; she served as a collegiate President of the Delta chapter and later was active in the local alumnae club. Additionally, she was involved in the Junior Leagues of Houston, St.Louis, and Champaign-Urbana. She was also involved in her children’s schools, the Social Science Club of Champaign-Urbana, Thirty Club and as a founding member of the Women's Legacy Circle at the Carle Center for Philanthropy. As a mentor through the C-U One to One mentoring program, she enjoyed many fulfilling years with her mentee, Paris, which grew to be an important relationship in both of their lives. She was proud of her service as a member of the Board of Directors at Bank Champaign for over 20 years. Her work doing the accounting at SunSinger Wine and Spirits gave her great pleasure.
Perhaps her most meaningful work was with the William S. Johnson fund which she co-founded with her brothers and Dr. Michael S. Goldwasser in 1994 as a way of honoring her father who was a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Carle Hospital for many years. The purpose of the medical missions lead by Dr. Goldwasser was to provide free surgeries for cleft lip and palate deformities to indigent children in under developed countries. She was fortunate to have travelled with Dr. Goldwasser and his surgical teams to the Phillipines, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Honduras. She is indebted to Dr. Goldwasser, Dr. Martin Hill, and Marvin Brombaugh for their 20 years of service in this endeavor. Thousands of children were given life changing cleft repairs which profoundly impacted their lives and futures. She is thankful to the many donors who supported this cause over the years.
Most recently, Page and a number of her closest friends organized an effort called Page’s ALS Challenge to raise funds to benefit other ALS patients in the Champaign-Urbana area with equipment, home services and respite care. She was touched by the outpouring of community support for this endeavor. For her fundraising efforts and her advocacy for PALS, she received the Iron Horse award named after Lou Gehrig, which Is the highest level of recognition from the ALS Association of greater Chicago.
Page was blessed with a beautiful life, rich with a loving family and a multitude of wonderful friends. The years of her illness were blessed by so many people who ministered to and cared for her in many different ways. The Parkhill family is extremely grateful for the caregivers who tended to Page with love and care. She departed this world feeling grateful for the abundant blessings bestowed upon her during her earthly life.
A visitation will be held at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church on Friday, January 26th from 4-7pm. A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church on Saturday, January 27th at 1:30pm.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, contributions can be made to Page's ALS Challenge and sent to: PO Box 343. Savoy, IL 61874 or made to Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church and sent to: 208 W. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820.
Page's ALS Challenge
P.O. Box 343, Savoy IL 61874
Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church
208 West University, Champaign IL 61820