Jennifer Lee Johnson, actress and animal lover

November 09, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Jennifer L. Johnson, an aspiring actress who had performed in college and community theatrical productions, died of a brain aneurysm Oct. 29 at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Hamilton resident was 27.

Jennifer Lee Johnson was born in Elkins, W.Va., and raised in Cockeysville and Parkton.

Ms. Johnson was a 1999 graduate of Hereford High School, where she was a volleyball player and actress.

"Since she was 8 years old, she planned to be an actress," said her father, John J. Johnson of Parkton. "It was her true passion."

Ms. Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Frostburg State University in 2004, and while a student there studied for a semester at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn.

Ms. Johnson appeared in productions at the Vagabond Players, Fells Point Corner Theatre and the Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills.

"Jenn was shy, but her love of theater brought out her true personality," her father said.

For the past three years, she was employed as a clerk at Trader Joe's in Pikesville.

"She repeatedly turned down offers to go into management because she wanted the flexibility to work in the theater," her father said.

The Gibbons Avenue resident was a cat lover who took in and cared for strays that she had found, family members said.

"She has been described as a caring and sensitive person who was always there to help out a friend," Mr. Johnson said.

A memorial service was held Thursday.

Also surviving are her mother, Cindy S. Johnson; a sister, Emily R. Johnson of Klamath, Calif.; her paternal grandmother, Virginia N. Judy of Upper Tract, W.Va.; and special friend Pete Rattigan of Baltimore.

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