Ellen Wacker Johnston Was an Artist at Heart

Ellen Wacker Johnston of Lake Bluff, Ill., died Monday, July 28, at her summer home in Vineyard Haven.

She was born in Chicago on March 1, 1916, the daughter of Frederick G. Wacker and Grace C. Jennings. She was married to Hugh McBirney Johnston, who died in 1961.

She lived in Chicago and was a milliner, designing and selling women's hats. She moved to upstate New York and then to Greenwich Village in New York city from 1961 until 1995. Here she was a trustee for the Professional Children School and she was involved with the production of Broadway shows. She was an active parishioner of St. Thomas Church and was a member of the Colony Women's Club.

Ellen had been summering on Martha's Vineyard for 40 years and has spent the last seven years living in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

She was a trustee for the Skowhegen School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She was an artist at heart and enjoyed riding horses and jazz music. Her favorite hobby was buying and renovating older houses, including the one on the Island at Hines Point.

She is survived by her son, Thomas C. Sheffield Jr. of Chicago; her brother, Charles H. Wacker; two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A brother, Frederick G. Wacker, predeceased her.

A memorial service was held at Grace Episcopal Church, Vineyard Haven at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 31. Donations may be made in her memory to the American Cancer Society, 1115 W. Chestnut street, Brockton, MA 02301. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs.