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Eloise Johnson Dancer Smith

August 24, 1928 - July 11, 2017


Eloise was born in Salem, Oregon to Orson and Myrtle Johnson.

She spent her childhood in Salem and Sheridan. She graduated from Salem High School.

She worked at J C Penney for many years at the old store downtown.

She moved over to Blue Lakes Cannery and was the bookkeeper for the warehouse. She retired from there and went to work as a receptionist for the Oregon Legislature. She loved her time at the legislature.

Mom loved anything musical, movies, plays and theater.

She learned to tap dance at age forty and was in the chorus of a production of Guys and Dolls. On February 27, 1988, the Statesman ran an article about Mom one of the unsung heroes of Salem's theater community. For 19 years she was active in the Pentacle Theater and was a founding member of Salem Theater of Performing Arts (STOPA) in 1979. STOPA put on plays and musicals in the Grand Theater. She was thrilled when the Grand was brought back to life. She was a charter member of the Friends of Deepwood.

She and Bill traveled to Mexico, Europe and loved cruising through the Panama Canal and the Greek Isles. When they traveled in the United States they stopped at every historical marker and museum along the way. They spent many New Years in New York going to Broadway musicals.

She leaves three children, Cindy Calligan of Salem, Jerry Dancer of Lincoln City and Susan Dancer of Salem.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, sisters, Shirley Crogan and Dorothy Gahlsdorf and brother Lyle Johnson. Many weekends were spent singing with her sisters while her brother played drums and her mother played the piano. She loved unconditionally and will be missed by all who knew her.

“So I'll sing Hallelujah, you were an angel in the shape of my mom. When I fell down you'd be there holding me up. Spread your wings as you go and when God takes you back he'll sing Hallelujah you are home.”

At her request there will be a private family service. You can make donations to Enlightened Theatrics at the Grand Theater or Willamette Valley Hospice on her behalf. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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