Florence E. Johnson, Housekeeper

August 19, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Florence E. Johnson, a retired housekeeper who enjoyed dancing, died Thursday in her sleep at her daughter's West Baltimore home. She was 102.

Born Florence Elizabeth Rogers in Carroll County, she attended Carroll County and Baltimore public schools before going to work as a housekeeper in 1923.

Her daughter, Elaine Paul, recalled her mother's exceptional skills as a demanding housekeeper and her financial acumen.

"She took exceptional care of her children and home and did not believe in owing anyone anything but love," Mrs. Paul said.

"She was independent to a fault and believed in doing things in decency and in order," her daughter said. "She was also extremely outspoken and if asked she would tell you exactly what was on her mind."

Mrs. Johnson retired in 1982.

In addition to listening to music and dancing, Mrs. Johnson enjoyed traveling.

She had been a member for nearly 80 years of Christian Community Church where she sang in the senior choir.

The former longtime Fulton Avenue resident followed no particular regimen in gaining centenarian status.

"She ate everything in moderation as far as food was concerned, and she did not smoke or drink," her daughter said. "She always walked a great deal to streetcar and bus stops."

Mrs. Paul said her mother was proud of being able to vote for President Obama last November.

Her husband of 35 years, James Franklin Johnson Sr., a musician, died in 1959.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at her church, 2710 W. Baltimore St.

Also surviving are a son, James Franklin "Joe" Johnson Jr. of Baltimore; seven grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great grandchildren; and a great-great-great granddaughter. She was preceded in death by four other children.

- Frederick N. Rasmussen

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