“Weep not, weep not, She is not dead; She's resting in the bosom of Jesus… …Grief-stricken son--weep no more; Left-lonesome daughter--weep no more; She only just gone home.” --- James Weldon Johnson
On June 23rd, 1967, the world got a little bit brighter when Betty JoAnn Johnson was born to Barbara Ann Johnson. She was so anxious to make her entrance into the world that she came a little earlier than expected. Weighing in at a tiny-but-mighty 4 pounds, she was so small, her mother said she was no bigger than a potato bug, and so she was nicknamed. It was later shortened to Bugsy and that is what she was called by all in her family.
Settling with her mother and baby sister in in Muskogee, Oklahoma and later moving to Oklahoma City, Betty’s petite stature didn’t stop her from taking on the world. Overcoming many obstacles, she faced them all with a smile and a prayer, her faith keeping her strong. Quick to smile, she brightened every room she entered. Gentle and helpful, people found her a joy to be around.
Betty became a mother at a relatively young age, but never faltered in her desire to be the best mother possible to her six children. She worked when and where she could to provide for them and made hard decisions, all as a single mother. She ultimately landed a job at University of Oklahoma Medical Center. During her time there, she earned the Housekeeper of the Year Award five times, a testament to her character and work ethic. She retired in 2006 to be a full-time homemaker and mother.
Betty was a devout Christian and loved the Lord. She made sure her children were raised in church. Although she attended a number of churches during her lifetime, most recently she was a member of The Gate Church in Oklahoma City.
Betty had many hobbies including shopping, going to the movies and amusement parks, and decorating. She also loved to cook, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas, her favorite holidays, when she would have family and friends gathered around. She was also a big sports fan and her favorite teams were the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and OKC Thunder. She also loved music and dancing, and some of her favorite artists were MC Hammer, Mary J Blige and Yolanda Adams.
After being diagnosed with cancer last year, Betty faced her diagnosis with her typical optimism. She tried to stay positive, both for herself and her children, as she battled the disease. She fought with the help of her doctors, her children, and her faith. On October 17, 2020, the Lord saw her suffering and took pity on His child, and Jesus said to her, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Betty was preceded in death by her mother, Barbara Ann Johnson, her aunt Cardelia Edmondson, and her nephew, Calvin. She leaves behind to mourn her, her sister, Patrice Johnson, her six children, Ricardo Wallace, Timothy Johnson, Donta Johnson, Christiana Ray (DeMilo), Kyiesha Johnson, and Kyanna Johnson; one grandchild, John Ray; aunts, Dr. Georgia Edmondson and Mrs. Martha Thomas; three nephews, six cousins, and other family and friends, including her best friends, Lisa and Cheryl Hopkins, and Kimberly Harris. A service celebrating Betty’s life was 3 p.m., Saturday, November 7th at Chapel Hill Funeral Home.
“And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears, And he smoothed the furrows from her face, And the angels sang a little song, And Jesus rocked her in his arms, And kept a-saying: Take your rest, Take your rest. Weep not--weep not, She is not dead; She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.”
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