World-traveling English teacher, Chris V. Tremlett – better known as CJ – died Saturday, March 22nd, after a short battle with brain cancer. She was 46 years old.
Chris was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Feburary 25th, 1969. She attended Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she got her BA in Modern Languages and Literature in 1991. After two years teaching English in Ohasama, Japan, she attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, achieving an MA in Linguistics/TEFL in 1995. She met her husband, James E. Tremlett, while studying there, and they wed in 1996, after she returned from a year teaching in Nowy Sacz, Poland. After that they both went to Cheongju, South Korea for a year, and then Dubai, United Arab Emirates for seven. In 2005 they both came to Lansing so Chris could attend MSU’s Doctoral program in Linguistics. At the time of her death she had put her studies on hold, was working at Schuler Books and Music, Eastwood, and hoping to secure another teaching position abroad. Chris loved teaching overseas, often likening it to being paid to go on vacation. She hoped to teach at least once on each continent, and wanted to return to Japan, which she enjoyed the most. While away, she visited such places as Finland, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, and Egypt. A proud geek, she enjoyed graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, history, and women’s studies. She always participated in National Writing Month each November, and was most proud of her essay “The View from Here” – a plea for tolerance and understanding written in response to 9/11. She was constantly crocheting, knitting, or making origami, was an incredible speed-reader, and was famous for her baking. She was also phenomenal at reading tarot cards, and had a collection of over 200 decks.
She is survived by: her husband, James E. Tremlett, of Lansing; parents, Russell L. Sr. and Jeanette V. (Ferguson) Johnson, of Weyauwega, Wisconsin; brother, Russell L. Johnson Jr., his wife Carrie A. Kauzlarich, and their children Brenna M. and Rose M. Johnson, of Arena, Wisconsin; and her sister, Julie V. Johnson, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. She also leaves behind an amazing number of friends, colleagues, and students, whom she loved dearly.
A service for the family will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday at the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church in Appleton. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Beloiter Fund for Scholarships, in memory of Christine Johnson Tremlett ’91. (Beloit College, 700 College Street, Beloit, WI, 53511.)