Ruth Viola Johnson

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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Ruth Viola Johnson, 96, Elizabethton, Tenn., went home to be with the Lord on March 13, 2024, at home, surrounded by her family and her very dear friend and caregiver, Gloria Fortney.

Ruth was born in East Rochester, Ohio, on February 18, 1928, one of 13 children. She grew up as a farm girl during the depression years. At the age of 15 she began a career at the Royal China Pottery which spanned more than 20 years, followed by a second career of more than 20 years working for General Motors.

She loved serving the Lord at Harvest Baptist Church, spending time with her family, cooking, baking, gardening, and weekly game nights with friends.

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She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 65 years, Lloyd W. Johnson, who went home to be with the Lord in 2010.

Survivors include her children, James (Bonnie) Johnson, Elizabethton, John (Marcia) Johnson, Bluffton, S.C., and Karen (David) Bourke, Hampton; one brother, James (Linda) Saling; 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Her memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 5:30 p.m. at Harvest Baptist Church, 309 East F Street in Elizabethton.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her memory to any of the following organizations: Heartbeat International Missions, P.O. Box 1941, Elizabethton, TN 37644 (This organization was founded by her son Jim to assist Asian pastors in church planting efforts); St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (John and his family have supported this organization through the years); and East Tennessee Spay and Neuter, P.O. Box 2171, Elizabethton, TN 37644 (Karen served as a volunteer and advocate for this organization for many years).