Ivan Wilfrid (Ching) Johnson, a Hall of Fame defenseman for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, died at 1 a.m. yesterday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring following a brief illness. He was 81.

Mr. Johnson resided with his wife Ellen in Takoma Park. They were married 57 years.

Mr. Johnson joined the Rangers in 1926, the year the team was formed, and although already in his late 20s, was a key player on two Ranger Stanley Cup champion teams. He played 13 years for New York and was voted outstanding player with Stanley Cup champion Ranger teams of 1928 and 1933.

Mr. Johnson came to the Washington area in 1942, after his National Hockey League career was over, to coach the Washington Ulines of the American Hockey League.

He later went to California briefly to coach and play for the Hollywood Wolves and played some hockey games there when he was 46 years old. He skated well into his 70s.

Besides his Wife, Mr. Johnson is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Geraldine Windham of Washington, and a son, James Johnson of Palos Verdes, Calif.

Memorial services will be at the Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home at 11800 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Mr. Johnson's family suggests expressions of sympathy be made in contributions to the American Cancer Society.