Marge Johnson has nearly made her church her home
Marjorie F. Johnson
Address: 1123 Blaine St., Edgerton.
Volunteer Service: Marge volunteers at Central Lutheran Church in Edgerton, doing everything from organizing church luncheons to cleaning communion robes.
Work: Retired; formerly employed at Nelson Young Lumber, Edgerton.
Favorite church luncheon staple: Red Jell-O with bananas.
Likes: Walking, gardening.
Words she lives by: "If you see something that should be done, do it."
EDGERTON Edgerton resident Marge Johnson has a major tip for anyone who's new to being a church volunteer:
"When somebody needs something done, what you don't do is open your mouth."
It's a good thing for Edgerton's Central Lutheran Church that Johnson is only joking. And it's a good thing that she doesn't follow her own advice.
For more than 30 years, Johnson has been a mainstay volunteer at Central Lutheran. She's done everything from organizing and holding monthly bible studies to lining up barbershop quartets as entertainment at church dinners.
The 76-year-old rural Cambridge native grew up on a farm and later tended 5 1/2 acres on the outskirts of Edgerton while raising four children in the 1960s with her husband, Donald. She later was employed at Nelson Young Lumber Co.
Yet Johnson has always found time to volunteer. For years, she was a Girl Scout troop leader and a volunteer at Red Cross blood drives. At Central Lutheran, she's planned more than 100 senior church luncheons and at least a dozen annual senior ladies dinners.
That's a lot of casseroles and coffee, but that's not all she's done for her church. Johnson also organizes and hosts a monthly bible study and for years cleaned the church communion robes.
Denise Lothe, office administrator at Central Lutheran Church, said it'd be easier to calculate the time each week that Johnson isn't at the church than to tally how many hours she's there.
"If it needs to be done, call Marge. Actually, you don't even have to call Marge because she's always here. She practically lives in this church," Lothe said.
Johnson also has helped organize weekly church greeters and birthday visits for long-term care patients at Edgerton Hospital, Lothe said.
Johnson has a simple reason for all the time and effort volunteering at the church.
"Church is like a house. It needs attention," she said.
For a dozen years now, Johnson has spearheaded planning for the church's bi-monthly senior outreach luncheons and its annual senior ladies luncheon. She took the helm when she learned that another volunteer was stepping down.
Johnson was worried the church's luncheon program, one of its major community outreaches, would go by the wayside.
Since she took over planning, Johnson said the church hasn't gone a year without the annual ladies luncheon. She credits her friends at the church, a core of a few dozen volunteers who've faithfully helped her with all the work.
"They were there from the start, and they've stayed there ever since," Johnson said.
Johnson's friend, Edgerton resident Judy Scharfenberg, said Johnson has a gift: She understands how to use service to unite people. Scharfenberg summed up her friend's efforts poetically.
"Marge puts her faith into action," she said.