Mrs. Elaine Marie Johns

February 22, 1950November 21, 2020

Mrs. Elaine Marie Johns, age 70, of Ann Arbor, Michigan passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at her home surrounded by family. Elaine was born on February 22, 1950, in Meadville, Pennsylvania to Travis Cash & Demaris Evans. She was raised in Ann Arbor, attended Michigan State University, and returned to Ann Arbor after college to help run the family business and raise a family. The final year of her life she battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which she fought with grace and grit.

Elaine is survived by her best friend and spouse of 52 years, Carl Johns. Elaine also leaves behind her sister Jan Raber (Florida), daughter Jennifer Babycz, son Nathan Johns; and granddaughters Natalie and Kendall Johns.

Elaine loved to cook and excelled in the kitchen. She shared her love for others through food, and enjoyed hosting family and friends for meals. She was an avid gardener and got outside to work in the yard whenever possible. She will be fondly remembered by her family and the community as the longtime owner of Ann Arbor’s beloved Treasure Mart, where she devoted her time to helping shoppers find treasures for their homes for 48 years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Elaine's memory may be made to The ALS Association or Arbor Hospice

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Johns family.


  • Carl Johns, Spouse
  • Nathan Johns, Son
  • Jennifer Babycz, Daughter
  • Natalie, Granddaughter
  • Kendall, Granddaughter
  • Jan Raber, Sister

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Mrs. Elaine Marie Johns

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Jim Kalmbach

December 1, 2020

I went to High School (and MSU) with Elaine and my mother worked for years at the Treasure Mart. Indeed when I was in graduate school at U of M, I worked at the Mart where I learned how to load a truck with home goods (a skill I have used the rest of my life). We would often visit the Treasure Mart when we came back to town, and it was always a treat to see Elaine. I am so sorry to hear about her passing.

Julia Winfield

November 30, 2020

I was hoping to send this message to Elaine to let her know how much she helped my brother and I, but I just learned about her passing. So I write this to Elaine's family and loved ones:
When my parents passed away in 2016, Elaine was a godsend. I am so thankful for her and the Treasure Mart team for their help and kindness as I was faced with emptying a house full of 30 years worth of living. Elaine and her team lifted a weight off my shoulders that I will be forever grateful for. Elaine was honest, compassionate, kind, and always made time for me when I had something to bring in. It's little things like that that make living while grieving a little more bearable. There were only a handful of people who played a significant role in helping me get through that year, and Elaine and her team were some of those people.

I have many years worth of memories at Treasure Mart, and I can honestly say that it was my favorite place to visit in Ann Arbor. My mom had gone to TM for decades, and she loved it just as much. In fact, as I was cleaning out our house, I found tablecloths, napkins, etc. with Treasure Mart price tags that my mom must have bought 30-40 years ago. Elaine and her family created an incredible place, and I am so grateful for everything she did to keep it going and the compassion she showed my brother and I during our most difficult year.

Sending love to Elaine's family and friends <3
Julia Winfield

Jim Fleming

November 29, 2020

To the family of Elaine,

It was with sadness that I read about the passing of your beloved Elaine.

A great many of the items that make our home special to us were purchased at Treasure Mart over the past 40 plus years. It was my pleasure to occasionally have a few minutes of Elaine's time (as she was always busy and being asked something by someone) and honored that she took the time to talk with me. I always found it especially confirming when she would say "now that's an interesting piece" when I was purchasing "that" piece. It made me feel like I'd made the right choice.

Elaine and Carl created an enviroment that was a reflection of their personalities, their kindness and their high standards. For that I will forever be grateful.

Thank you all for sharing Elaine with so many of us over the years, she will be missed by so many people and she was, certainly, a treasure.


Jim Fleming

Kim Renko

November 28, 2020

Elaine was the kindest, most hard-working and a lovely wife, mother, grandmother, cousin and friend. She fought this disease with grace and dignity and I cherish the memory of the last time I saw her when I visited Michigan this past summer.
Her kitchen skills though...Before I moved to Texas I always looked forward to whatever dish(es) she made for family gatherings. I stole her famous mashed potato recipe that I have carried on in my own family!
I remember when Carl and Elaine first started dating when I was in my teens and I remember looking up to her with so much admiration in my youth, she was always interested in my life and made me feel special. She was so much fun to be around and held a large presence within the family.
Elaine, you will be remembered as a beautiful person inside and out and I will miss you dearly. Love you much and rest peacefully until we meet again. ❤️❤️❤️
Kim Renko, Cousin

Barbara and Phil Zaret

November 27, 2020

We are so sorry to hear about Elaine. We have so many memories of sitting with Carl and Elaine at numerous baseball games, watching Nate and Dan play in school and summer leagues. Then came basketball, again enjoying our sons' love of sports. We were lucky to get to know the whole Johns family, and we send to all of you our sincere sadness at this terrible loss.
Barb and Phil

Jan Hannah

November 27, 2020

Elaine was such a gift to me when she came to appraise my aunt’s belongings in April 2019. We laughed together, cried together and prayed together the very day we met, a day I will never forget. My deepest condolences for your loss.

Marcie H. Wax

November 25, 2020

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Elaine. I was an adoring customer of The Treasure Mart for many years and always knew that the treasures I brought there would go to good homes.
Last year my dear cousin passed and I brought a number of her things to the TM, knowing someone who would appreciate them would give them a good home, It made the separation less difficult.
The Treasure Mart was a wonderful shop, filled with “Treasures” and I never went there without leaving with a new antique cake stand or something I had been looking for. I dearly miss going there and will for many years.....there is nowhere like it to take my things. The last time I was there (last year), Elaine took care of me, it was awe inspiring how with her diagnosis, she checked me in and didn’t miss a beat. She was a special woman, and that was why The Treasure Mart was what it was.

My most sincere condolences to the family....

Marcie H. Wax
Farmington Hills

Nancy & Bob Harrington

November 25, 2020

We are so sorry for the loss of Elaine. She was a shining light, a busy and friendly presence at the Treasure Mart for so many years.
Our home is decorated with our most favorite pieces that we purchased from Carl and Elaine.

Especially at Christmas, we would enjoy browsing among the wonderful items and chatting with Elaine while she tended her store.

We will greatly miss Elaine and the legacy of the Treasure Mart which has been a part of Ann Arbor for so many years.

Our sympathy and prayers go to Carl and her family,
Nancy & Bob Harrington

Lisa Lava-Kellar

November 24, 2020

I send a happy heart to those of you who knew Elaine and experienced Treasure Mart at its fullest. What a great place to shop and get to know people who wanted to help you sell your excesses! :>

I am sorry for your loss, Carl and family, including the TM family. I thank each of you who worked at Treasure Mart, for the laughs, the what-in-the-heck-is-this? moments, and your patience working with the many of us who kept coming through your doors, to buy or to sell.

May you rest in peaceful slumber, Elaine,
Lisa Lava-Kellar

Mary Jo Gord

November 24, 2020

I have very fond memories of Elaine, her mother, and sister from my years as an antique dealer in Ann Arbor and frequent visitor to the Treasure Mart. When my daughter, Cara, was just a little girl, she used to say, "When I grow up, I want to be a Treasure Mart Lady." Those years were a special time in my life. Elaine was always the helper, the diplomat, the friend. She was an institution. I know that many other people will remember her in this way as well. My thoughts are with you, her family, during this time. May God Bless you and keep you.


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