Mary Ellen Johnston passed away peacefully on January 16th, 2020, at the golden age of 93. Born Mary Ellen Leighton; she graduated from West High School in Minneapolis in 1944, attended the U of M where she was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority and graduated with a teaching degree – teaching 3rd grade at Groveland, Bancroft and Fulton elementary schools in Minneapolis. Mary Ellen loved their Gull Lake cabin and was a family weekend warrior year-round before building their dream home in the early 1970s. She was a City Council Member of the City of Lake Shore, member of Lutheran Church of the Cross, and owner of the Stony Brook Trading Company in Nisswa where she was famous for her Jezebel Sauce. To the inspiration of young women on the lake, Mary Ellen swam the Gull Lake Swimmer Challenge, a 2-mile swim across Gull Lake, when she was 46. She loved cooking and her specialties were authentic Mexican enchiladas and homemade meatloaf. With a special love for Christmas and collecting Santas, Mary Ellen made flannel PJ’s each year for the entire family. Mary Ellen was also a gifted knitter who made treasured sweaters for many newborns, family and friends. Jim and Mary Ellen moved back to Minneapolis in the late eighties to spend time with their grandchildren, planning special trips, attending games and graduations. Mary Ellen is survived by sons Jay (Zana) Johnston of Minnetonka, Doug (Sheila) Johnston of Lake Shore, grandchildren Scott (Andrea) Johnston, Pat (Jenna) Johnston, great grandchildren Avery, Connor, Quinn, Morgan, Noelle, Shea Johnston and step grandchildren Ian and Erin McFarland. Mary Ellen was preceded in death by parents George and Garnett Leighton, siblings Georgie Cline and Betty Myers, and loving husband W. James (Jim) Johnston. She was the foundation of our roots; we celebrate her life and her special light. Per Mary Ellen’s wishes a private interment will take place on a warmer date in Nisswa Minnesota. Memorials may be directed to Courage Center and the Minnesota Arboretum.