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Welcome to the memorial page for

Mary Ethel Johnson

March 1, 1919 ~ July 5, 2017 (age 98)


March 1, 1919 ~ July 5, 2017 (age 98)

Mary Ethel Crisp Johnson was born March 1, 1919 in Vildo, TN. To the union of Lady Pirtle Crisp and Wardell Crisp.  She was the third of thirteen children. Seven brothers and four sisters preceded her  in death.  She departed this life peacefully on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 surrounded by family.

Her funeral service was held on Saturday July 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm at the Johnson Chapel CME Church with Minister Patrick Spencer in charge. Burial was in the Church Cemetery and Dixie Funeral Home was in charge of the professional service.

Mary Ethel accepted Christ at an early  age and joined her beloved Johnson Chapel C.M.E. Church.  She was a faithful  member throughout her life and during her illness.  She loved Sunday School; believed in the tithe; previously active in the  Missionary Society; praised God w/various ”Dr. Watts” and a long-time member of the Golden Grain Good Shepard, Lodge #52.  Her statement, “I was born right down there from the church and I want to be buried here, even if  it is under the doorstep.”

Mary Ethel grew up in a family with strong values and Christian beliefs. How  many times did we hear her talk about Wardell Crisp or affectionally “my daddy”.  “You had to go to church if you belonged to “Wardell Crisp”.  Mary Ethel grew up on the “rough side of mountain”.  Hard work was second nature for her, limiting the time for education.  She was a baby-sitter beginning at the age of three to four boys. (her parents had two sets of twins after Mary Ethel).  She worked in the fields for her family and when given the time to work for others, she earned fifty cents a day. “We didn’t get the money, our daddy got the money”.  After share-cropping for many years she worked as a domestic worker, at Kilgore and later at WMHI.  At the age of sixty-four, she retired to care for her ailing mother.  After the death of her mother, she went back to work as a foster grandparent and a domestic worker.  Even at the age of ninety-eight she stated, “I wish I could have me a little job.”  

Mary Ethel  was an immaculate housekeeper and cook. She was famous for her Coconut Pies, Sweet Potato Pies, homemade Biscuits, Potatoes Salad and anything she wanted to cook. 
Mary Ethel was the mother of two biological children, Hattie and Robert Earl.  Robert Earl died as a young boy.   She was united L.J. Johnson  numerous years and immediately became a mother to three other children, Girlene, Annie B. and Paul.   Her husband, L.J., Girlene and Paul preceded her in death.  She was also preceded in death by two grandsons, Ray and Kevin.  Kevin recently passed May 2017.

In loving memories, Mary Ethel leaves to cherish; two daughters; Hattie (J.C.)   Harvey and Annie B. Matthews: nine grandchildren, a host  of great grandchildren, four great -great grandchildren, one adorable baby sitter; Irene Joy and a host of nephews, nieces, and other relatives.

 Service Information

July 8, 2017

12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Jerome Boyd Chapel at Dixie Funeral Home
750 Bills Street
Bolivar, Tennessee 38008

Funeral Service
July 9, 2017

2:00 PM
Johnson Chapel CME
9985 Vildo Rd
Whiteville, Tennessee 38075

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