Julia M. Johnson, 86

Housekeeper, Orioles fan

August 17, 2007

Julia M. Johnson, a retired housekeeper and longtime Orioles fan, died Saturday of heart failure at St. Agnes Hospital. She was 86.

Julia Mae Pettigrew was born and raised in Eutawville, S.C., where she graduated from public schools. In 1941, she came to Baltimore and worked as a waitress at the Oriole Cafeteria and later as a laborer for Cat's Paw Rubber Co.

From the 1950s until retiring in 1980, Mrs. Johnson was a housekeeper for a Catonsville family.

For many years, Mrs. Johnson was a member of Friendship Baptist Church in South Baltimore, and in the 1960s, she joined Mount Hebron Baptist Church.

In 1994, she became a charter member of Emmanuel United Baptist Church, where she was a deacon and continued her missionary work until her health began failing in 2002.

She was recognized by the church's pastor and congregation for her work preparing meals that were served to patients at Springfield State Hospital.

Mrs. Johnson was an avid fan of football, basketball, golf and the Orioles. Family members said she often talked of attending the Orioles' first game at Memorial Stadium after returning to Baltimore in 1954.

Mrs. Johnson, a longtime resident of Harwall Road, also enjoyed cooking for family and friends and entertaining at dinner parties.

Her husband of two years, Peter Sweeper, died in 1950. Her second husband, of five years, Samuel Johnson Sr., died in 1968.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today at New Hope Baptist Church, 850 Harlem Ave.

Surviving are a daughter, Barbara Jean Mitchell of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Idella Boone of Baltimore; a grandson; and four great-grandsons.

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