Monona - Diane L. Johnson of Monona, passed away on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, from complications of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Diane was born the daughter of Lawrence W. and May E. (Jones) Johnson in Berwyn, IL on March 21, 1936. She fondly loved Illinois, attending Berwyn Elementary, Morton High School in Cicero, and working downtown in Chicago. After graduation she moved on to Hope College in Holland MI where she earned BA in Elementary Education degree with a minor in Art.
Diane’s passion for education is where she shined bright. Teaching first and second grades, she put her heart and soul into her classroom every school year. She saw it as a new beginning for inspiration and growth and she just loved her kids, teaching so many to read and write. She was incredibly encouraging and enthusiastic, taking the extra time for all her students to become successful. Diane started her career in teaching in Binghamton, NY where she met her ex-husband (Joseph Polansky Jr.) and started a family. After moving to Wisconsin, she briefly taught in the town of Belville and shortly after secured her dream job working in the Madison Public School District at Crestwood Elementary with many years of undeniable dedication and service, all the while raising her three children, planning summer vacation trips and activities for the family.
It was 1983 when Diane met her life partner Fred Haltvick. They both had a passion for racquetball and were fierce competitors at a local club. Through the years Diane and Fred enjoyed time cross country skiing, biking, hiking, and boating on the area lakes, in addition to their many trips with their favorites being family gatherings in Florida and vacationing to the beautiful island of Maui. Diane was also an animal lover of all types, especially her Abyssinian cats and golden retrievers. Together with Fred they owned several dogs that she would spend much time training and showing off their skills at many kennel club events.
Incredibly kindhearted, Diane would help wherever needed. After retiring she volunteered at many places. Whether it be planting at the Humane Society, ushering at the Overture, or helping at the local Gardens, she was there. She was passionately honest and remained a devoted Partner, encouraging Mother, dedicated Friend, supportive Aunt, and an all-around wonderful human being.
Diane is survived by her partner, Fred Haltvick; Son, Joe Polansky and daughter Krista Kay Polansky. She was preceded in death by her Daughter, Tana Diane Polansky-Maurer; Brothers, Lawrence “Bud”, Richard “Dick”, and Lew Johnson; and their parents.
Diane’s fighting spirit and unrelenting humor was apparent all the way to the end. She continued to make witty comments and one-liners that keep everyone amused. She had an infectious smile and laughter that filled the room with joy. She will be affectionately remembered and dearly missed.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1PM on Sunday, January 14, 2024, at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison. Visitation will be held from 11:30AM until the time of service. Online Condolences may be expressed at www.cressfuneralservice.com.
A special thank you to the staff at Drumlin Reserve Memory care and ProMedica Hospice for their undeniable kindness and exemplary care of Diane.
Cress Funeral Home & Cremation Services is serving Diane's family.
3610 Speedway Rd.
Madison, WI 53705