Johnnie Mae King Johnson, 88, died peacefully in her beloved Atlanta home on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, following several years of declining health.
Born in Gordon County, Georgia, on July 17, 1935, to John H. and Jennie Mae Thomas King, she enjoyed an idyllic childhood on her family’s farm alongside her siblings. She graduated from Sugar Valley High School, Class of 1954, where she excelled in academics and made many lifelong friends.
After moving to Atlanta and finding work at a law office, she met and married her dear husband, James “Jim” Johnson. Like many women of her generation, she opted not to work outside the home for a time but focused her attention on her husband and son. Eventually, her love of art and architecture led her to complete her Associate’s Degree in Interior Design, and she worked at the Atlanta Mart and in private consulting for a number of years. A gifted seamstress and designer with an eye for detail, she was renowned in design circles in Atlanta and Gainesville and was considered an expert in antiques and period architecture. She loved traveling and exploring new places but was most comfortable in Atlanta where she knew every shortcut in the city long before Waze and Google Maps. Her daily lunches at the OK Cafe were a highlight in her later years. She was a master gardener and was a member of The Atlanta Garden Club until her declining health no longer permitted such work. She was a member of Atlanta First United Methodist Church.
She divided her time between her homes in Atlanta and Gainesville and her family home in Calhoun and was loved by all who knew her. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, and sister and selflessly cared for her husband, parents, and sister when their health declined. Her close and extended family had a true affection for her and held her in the highest esteem. She was the true “darling” of the family and was fiercely loyal to those she loved.
She was preceded in death by her parents; in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Johnson; husband, James W. Johnson; sisters, Margaret (Sonny) Zipperer and Renee (Bucky) Fox; brothers, Will King and James “Jim” King; and niece, Deborah Zipperer Harrison.
She is survived by her devoted and loving son, Steven Johnson; sister-in-law, Donna King; nieces and nephews who were treated like her own children: Burton (Sharon) Fox, Angie (Rodney) Bettis, Mitchell King, Heather (Wesley) Hunt, and Chad (Jennifer) King; and special cousins, Mary Jowers, along with her children, Rick, Elizabeth, and Jon Jowers. She found much joy in her family but was particularly fond of her special great-nephews, great-nieces, and great-great nephew.
A service to honor the life of Johnnie Mae King Johnson will be conducted on Sunday, October 15th, at 2:00 P.M. from the Chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Reverend Wesley Hunt officiating. Music will be arranged by Andrew and Madison Wilfong. Burial will follow in Fain Cemetery. The family will receive friends two hours prior to the service.
Her nephews Ben Fox, Burton Fox, Jacob Fox, Chad King, Ian King, and Mitchell King will serve as pall bearers.
Thomas Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Johnnie Mae Johnson.