Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reba Chloe (Gorrell) Johnson 1916-2008

Reba Chloe (Gorrell) Johnson, daughter of the late Cliff and Gladys Gorrell, was born February 21, 1916 in Crocker, Missouri. Her father worked in the lumber and produce business and her mother was a seamstress. She was the youngest of the family with an older brother LeRoy and sister Millie.

At the age of 18, Reba met Ewell Johnson, also known as Bearcat, at a ball game in 1934 between Crocker and Waynesville. Ewell told Reba he was 20. However, she soon discovered that he was actually only one day older than she. On Ewells birthday, February 20, 1937, they eloped, with parental approval, and were married in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. They were blessed with four children: Bill, David, John and Suzie. Ewell preceded her in death in December of 1975.

Reba lived for her family and friends. She delighted in big family gatherings, holidays with the house full of company, fishing and staying at the cabin, card games and coffee, and Sunday drives with impromptu visits to relatives and friends. She enjoyed her flowers, vegetable garden, feeding and watching birds, especially hummingbirds, sewing and making quilts. She figuratively and literally blanketed her friends and family with love. We are all better people by the gift of time we had with her.

Reba went home to be with her Lord at 4:05 P.M. Tuesday, February 19, 2008 in the Richland Care Center at the age of 91 years, 11 months and 29 days.

Reba leaves to cherish her memory her three sons: Bill Johnson of Waynesville, MO, David Johnson and his wife, Pam of Waynesville, MO and John Johnson and his wife, Carol of Richland, MO; one daughter: Suzie Everingham and her husband, Charlie of St. Louis, MO; one sister-in-law: Juanita Alden and her husband, Jack of Avon, CT; seven grandchildren: Matt and Ian Johnson, Laura Johnson Hurley and her husband Ed, Travis Johnson, Tara, Kasey and Julie Schneider; two great grandchildren: Walter and Carl Hurley; one niece: Mary Etta Johnson Heggie and her husband Joe; one nephew: Robert Johnson and his wife, Barb; three great nephews: Rob Heggie and his wife Jean, Joe B. Heggie and his wife Nanette and John Heggie and his wife Corinne; one great niece: Emily Johnson; one great-great niece and nephew: Claire and Baxter Heggie; and a host of friends.

Heaven is described in the Bible as having many mansions. We envision our family in humble homes where the kitchen is always open and the coffee is always brewing. Out back is a fishing cabin by a spring and within a stones throw of a river. Uncle Alfie, always the tinkerer, has already provided running water into the cabin via the spring. It is a loud boisterous group and many can be found late at night playing pitch and sharing stories. The sky is a night show of stars and arguments abound over which constellation they are looking at. Laughter rings out through the valleys, and love is poured into each cup of coffee. Mom, after her long journey here, is finally home.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, February 23, 2008 in the Waynesville Memorial Chapel with Rev. Richard Breeden officiating. Soloist Becky Lercher sang Amazing Grace, Softly and Tenderly and Precious Lord, Take My Hand. Serving as escorts were Matt Johnson, Ian Johnson, Travis Johnson, Joe Heggie, Rob Heggie, Mike Nickels, Joe Laughlin and Harold York. Serving as honorary escorts were Julia Johnson, Pauline Laughlin and Martha Burgess.

Burial followed in the Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery. Services were under the direction of Waynesville Memorial Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Reba Johnson to the Mt. Gibson Baptist Church and may be left at Waynesville Memorial Chapel.

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