Virginia Alberta Johnson
Virginia Alberta Johnson
  • February 12, 1922 - December 9, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Virginia Alberta "Ginnie" (Stoddard) Johnson was born in Middletown, Ohio, Feb. 12, 1922, and died December 9, 2017. Her 95 years were full and rich, with joys that she embraced and sorrows that she endured with grace and courage.

As a little girl, she was close to her big sister, Eleanor, and that relationship held strong throughout their lives. Both attended University of Cincinnati School of Nursing, and it was soon after graduation that the girls decided to take a trip together to visit Eleanor's sweetheart, Ed Kalal. During the visit, Ginnie met an Army buddy of Ed's, Lloyd Johnson, and sparks flew. Although their romance included a few bumps - including "backup sweethearts" on both sides - they knew they were meant for each other, and they were married on January 24, 1945.

In 1947, Lloyd Junior ("Lonnie") was born, and in 1951, his little sister, Lisa Susan. They lived in Jacksonburg, Ohio, near the Stoddard home in Middletown, until Lloyd's career set the family in motion. Each time Lloyd's company needed his engineering skills in a different area, the Johnsons relocated: Houston, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; Topeka, Kansas; and finally, back to Houston, where they remained through the rest of Ginnie's life.

The family found a church home in each new city. Ginnie lent her warm alto voice to the choir, taught Sunday school, directed children's choirs and took an active part in Methodist Women's activities. For the second half of her life, her church home was Fair Haven United Methodist Church in Houston. She expressed her deep faith through various forms of service, including the choir, Sunday school, Altar Guild and others. In later years, her greatest joy was serving communion, standing next to her daughter and offering the bread and wine.

Ginnie took on a career in her mid-50s, managing a recreation facility for a large real estate development in Houston. The organizational and financial skills she had honed over years of running a household impressed her employer and led to promotions and raises, until she felt she had accomplished her goals and retired to enjoy leisure time.

Sadness touched her life many times: the death of her granddaughter in 1974; Lloyd's death in 1988; and Lonnie's death in 2005. Faith and amazing strength sustained her each time. After Lloyd's death, she became a volunteer at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital. She served there for more than 20 years and received her 5,000-hour award when she retired.

Ginnie was an artist, a musician, an avid golfer and a tough tennis player. She was a consummate Mom and a devoted wife. She treasured her friends and loved with a generous heart. A beauty inside and out, she lived with joy, grace and courage.

Love marked her life, carried her home, and surrounds her now, and forever.

A Celebration of Ginnie's Life will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Fair Haven United Methodist Church, 1330 Gessner Road, Houston, Texas, with a reception afterward followed by interment at Woodlawn Garden of Memories, 1101 Antoine.