SPRUCE PINE, N.C.—Jean Gayle Johnson, 85, of 62 Amethyst Street died September 10, 2020 after a two-month illness. She was the only child of Baxter and Juanita Johnson and a native of Mitchell County. She was preceded in death by her mother, Sylvia Juanita Auxier Johnson and father, Baxter Davis Johnson. She is survived by many dear friends and cousins.
Jean was a graduate of Harris High School (Class of 1953) in Spruce Pine and attended Emory and Henry for her undergraduate degree in English and then on to the University of Indiana for her masters and began work on her Ph.D. She taught at Auburn University and University of Maryland-Baltimore. Upon returning to Spruce Pine in early 1990s, Jean taught at Mayland Community College. After her mother’s death, she worked in the family business, Johnson Electric until it closed in 2005. The property is now known as the Habit-ReStore.
As told by her dear friend of 80 years, Elizabeth Dent Curtis, “there wasn’t a lot to do in Spruce Pine for little girls back in the 40s.” But they seemed to keep entertained by Jean’s mother, Juanita. Jean attended Spruce Pine United Methodist Church with her parents and would attend prayer meetings at First Baptist-Spruce Pine.
Jean later became an Episcopalian while in Maryland and eventually transferred her membership to Trinity Episcopal Church-Spruce Pine. She served on many committees including the vestry, altar guild, and was a commissioned Lay Reader.
Jean loved people and animals. She was known in the community for rescuing stray cats.
Special thank you to Linda Norman (Jean referred to Linda as her adopted daughter) and Steve Botney for all their help over the years. Her last 4 years were spent in The Brian Center where she enjoyed doing crafts and playing bingo.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 15 Hemlock Avenue, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, Mitchell County Animal Rescue or Habitat for Humanity.