Marion Speirs Johnson Eklund, aged 98, passed away peacefully on February 2, 2021 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she had lived the last 16 years of her life. Marion was born on June 14,1922 in Audubon, New Jersey, the daughter of Elsie Knoettner Johnson McMichael and William Johnson, who died 2 months before her birth. She was the sister of the late William Johnson, the late Blanche Henry, and the late Robert McMichael. After graduation from Audubon High School in 1939, she attended Trenton State Teachers College, now the College of New Jersey, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1943 with a certification to teach Heath and Physical Education. While at TSTC, Marion met her future husband, Robert (Bob) J. Eklund, who predeceased her in January 1999.
After graduation, Marion began teaching Health and Physical Education in the Clayton, NJ Public Schools and following that, in Bridgeton, NJ. During World War II, while Bob was stationed with the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans, LA, Marion traveled down to meet him and they were married there in April 1944. Following the war, the couple lived with Bob’s parents in East Orange, NJ, where their first child, Judith, was born. A few years later, they moved to Audubon to live with Marion’s mother. In 1950, they bought a home in Haddon Heights, NJ, where they raised Judith and their other two children, Jeanne and John. Marion began teaching Health and Physical Education again in 1962 in the Haddon Heights Public Schools. In 1968, she returned to school at Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, to obtain her certification to teach elementary school in the classroom. She transferred from physical education to teaching sixth grade in Haddon Heights in 1969 for the remainder of her career, retiring in June 1983. Marion lived in the same home for 55 years before moving to Lawrenceville.
Marion was an active church member, serving in various leadership roles and participating in Bible studies. She was confirmed as a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Audubon as a teenager. Later she joined the Haddon Heights Methodist Church and upon her move to Lawrenceville, the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville.
An avid sports fan, Marion played field hockey and basketball in high school. She enjoyed watching and taking part in many other sports and became a high school field hockey referee. Marion attended all of her children’s sports events and other performances, cheering them on from the sidelines or in the audience. She loved all games and was an excellent bridge player, a member of multiple bridge clubs. Gathering with her family and playing games was one of her favorite pastimes. Marion also loved to read and could often be found with a book in her hand. She made friends easily and was known for her wonderful smile, hearty laugh, and warm personality.
Marion is survived by her loving children, Judith E. Hocking (Richard Hocking) of Lawrenceville, NJ, Jeanne E. Aicher (Richard Aicher) also of Lawrenceville, NJ, and John R. Eklund (Linda Eklund) of Lewes, DE. She is also survived by her devoted grandchildren, Alyse Eklund (Bara Hellman) of Havertown, PA, Jonathan Aicher (Angela Aicher) of Langhorne, PA, Jason Eklund (Jacqueline Eklund), of Philadelphia, PA, and Julianne Eklund Reeser (Michael Reeser), of Havertown, PA, as well as two great-grandchildren, Sloane Reeser and Reagan Hellman. She is the beloved aunt of many nieces and nephews and their families.
Due to the Covid pandemic restrictions, a private graveside service and burial will be held at the discretion of the family at the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, NJ. The Reverend Doctor Jeffrey A. Vamos of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville will officiate. Arrangements are under the direction of Riverside Memorial Chapels in Ewing, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in her memory to the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
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