Lillie Johnson Obituary - Dover, Delaware | Bennie Smith Funeral Home


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Lillie M.
1932 - 2014
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Obituary for Lillie M. Johnson

Lillie M.  Johnson
The year was 1932, the month was June, the country was still in the “great depression”, but in little old Harrington, Delaware God chose to send into this world one Lillie Mae Brown Johnson. And now in 2014, as many may say the year of the “great recession”, we pause to acknowledge the life of a great servant of God and Missionary.
She was born to parents Ida Mae Brown Davis and William C. Benson, who provided her with a wholesome Christian environment in which to develop into the responsible witness that we all know so well. At the age of 13, she became a full member of St. Paul AME Church in Harrington, Delaware. As an adult member she served on many boards at St. Paul including: the Steward Board, Finance Committee, Secretary of the Trustee Board, President of the Lay Organization and her beloved Missionaries on many levels including President of the Leah E. Coleman WMS.
Meanwhile, she continued her formal education at Delaware State College High School and remained for two additional years majoring in Business Education.
November 1966 was the year of her marriage to Alvarance Johnson, followed by travel with him as he pursued a military career, which included a tour in Germany where she made many friends among the local population.
She returned to school in the 70’s and earned a degree in Dental Assistance from Wayne School of Dentistry in Chicago, Illinois in 1977. But her love for God and her church continued and is manifested in doing his work wherever she might be living.
Relocating to Dover, Delaware in the 1980’s, she immediately affiliated with Mt. Zion AME Church in Dover, Delaware and started serving as a member of the Nancy C. Perry Missionary Society (WMS) and later served as president for many years. Also she was treasurer for the Milford/Dover Conference area and treasurer for the Delaware Conference Branch. She was Secretary of the Delaware Conference and was a delegate to the Delaware Annual Conference numerous times. She was a proud life member of the Connectional Women’s Missionary Society and wears her badge of honor today. She was a Steward for over 20 years and was elevated to Emeritus status.
Lillie loved being a doorkeeper in the house of Lord and served as president of the Senior Usher Board at both St. Paul and Mt. Zion. She served as President of Unit Three Ushers, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the ICUA of Delaware, and was a Certified Instructor of the ICUA.
But it was as a Missionary that she felt she was making her greatest contribution. For it was during this time that the AIDS crisis occurred. Lillie was on the front lines serving as a certified AIDS counselor and an advocate for those suffering with that disease. She was to be commended for her personal contact with some of the victims and it was out of this experience that she founded the Mt. Zion Soup Kitchen.
She was as an active member of the Helping Hand Club and continued in service to that group until just recently. In December of 2013 she was cited by the Club for her service and in 2014 she was honored by the Mt Zion Women’s Day Committee with the Spirit of Love Award.
Her community service was just as notable and included Secretary/Treasurer of Whatcoat Social Service Agency , the Dover NAACP, and Zeta Amicae of Dover. But it was her status as Worthy Matron as a member of Electra Chapter #6 Order of Eastern Stars, that provided her with great pleasure.
Senator Tom Carper appointed her as a Notary while he was Governor and Governor Ruth Ann Minner appointed her to the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administration.
Prison Fellowship, the Dover Caring Community Coalition, Church Women’s United were included in her activities. Within the City of Dover she served on the Dover Election Board with appointments in 2007, 2011, and recently in 2013. She was also appointed to the City of Dover Services to Senior Citizens Committee and worked on the Committee to Study Dover Concepts.
In between all of this, Lillie Mae found time to work with the State of Delaware as a senior secretary and also found time to serve as a mentor, auntie, surrogate mother and advisor in the community, church or wherever she might be. She was the ultimate volunteer and missionary and will be cherished by all who knew her.
Countee Cullen (the noted black poet) (if we might paraphrase) said “Living is hard and dying is mean, so you get yourself a little living in between”. Lillie spent a lifetime living for God and others and for this we salute her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alvarance Johnson, her mother, Ida Mae Brown-Davis, Father, Augustine Brown, Brother Foster Brown, Niece Ida Jean Brown and a son.
She leaves to cherish her loving memory: Her Caregiver & friend; Mary Merritt (Robert), Brother, Garfield Warner, (1) Brother in law, Norman Johnson, (2) Sister in laws, Sarah Brown & Janet Warner; (1) Uncle, Charles Mosley; (1) Aunt, Bessie Russ; Special Niece & Caregiver, Anita Warner; (2) Special Adopted Children, Glen Bradley & Rochelle Postles, Special Friends, Hugh Waters, Virginia Carson, Ernestine Holden & Anna Mae Curry ; Special Cousins, Kenneth & Margaret Harris & Wilmina Groce; The Baynard Family; (5) God Children, Zena Brown (Joe),Trina Walker, Jae T. Loper, Day Shawn Dean & Calvin Thorpe; the Harrington & Dover Community and a host of special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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