2013-03-07 / Obituaries

Lottie Bell Johnson

Lottie Bell Johnson passed away on Friday, Jan. 25, with family around her at her home in Mariposa. She had been fighting congestive heart disease and was 90 years old.

Lottie was born in Corona to James A. Vinnedge and Ruby Hyatt Vinnedge and was the youngest of their 12 children. Her parents moved the family from Corona to Modesto in the 1930s and settled on Grimes Road. Lottie spent her time going to school, helping with the farm and when her parents allowed going roller skating. She met and fell in love with Cecil F. Johnson and on Dec. 16, 1938, they were married at the First Baptist Church in Modesto. Cecil and Lottie had two daughters, Virginia and Sherril.

While raising her two daughters, Lottie was involved with Brownies, Girl Scouts, PTA, dancing classes, Job’s Daughters, and helped with many school and community events. Later in her life she worked as a telephone operator for Riverbank Telephone Company, Scenic Hospital and the Medical Exchange in Modesto. Upon retirement, Lottie volunteered for the Modesto Blood Bank and was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Lottie moved from Modesto in 2002 to live with family in Mariposa. During these later years she enjoyed reading, sewing, listening to music and watching old Western movies. Much of her time was spent with her little dog Willow. What brought her the most joy was her family. Throughout her life she taught the importance of being tolerant of one another and how coming together strengthens a family. Lottie leaves a 40-year tradition of family gatherings on Thanksgiving – lovingly known as Grandma’s Day.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Cecil F. Johnson; eight sisters, including her twin Loma; and three brothers. Lottie leaves two daughters, Virginia Merrihew-Wood and Sherril Royse; grandchildren, Kimathy Merrihew, Kenton Merrihew, Gregory Royse, Brandon Merrihew, Tiffiny Royse-Hickey and Nikole Royse; 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held on March 9, at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson at 11:30 a.m.

The family wishes to thank the Ponderosa Basin Fire Department for the incredible care and compassion shown to Lottie. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chowchilla Mountain Women’s Club, P.O. Box 162, Mariposa, CA 95338 which supports the Ponderosa Basin Fire Department.

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