Mary Jane Burchette Johnson, age 86, passed peacefully to her heavenly reward surrounded by her family on November 15 in Johnson City, TN.
She was born on February 2, 1925, to James and Flora Burchette of Marion, Virginia. From an early age, she was nurtured and reared in the Christian faith and was baptized by Rev. William Hugh Carter of Marion Baptist Church.
She was an excellent scholar and developed a love for reading that continued throughout her life. She graduated with Beta Club honors from Marion High School in June of 1942. For the next year of her life, she worked to earn money so that she could fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse. In September 1946, she graduated from the Virginia Baptist Hospital Training School for Nurses in Lynchburg, Virginia. She loved her time as a surgical nurse and as an obstetrics nurse. She spoke proudly of being among those chosen to travel to Philadelphia to study Sister Kenny’s treatment for polio.
After graduation, she returned to Marion to work as a nurse at Lee Memorial Hospital where, in 1947, she met the love of her life, Garland Aaron Johnson. They were married in June of 1949 and celebrated 50 years together until Garland’s passing in 1999.
In 1950, the couple moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, where they reared their family. While bringing up three girls, Mary Jane found fulfillment as their leader in the Girl Scouts of America. Mary Jane loved her flower and vegetable gardens. She was a skilled seamstress and did beautiful embroidery work. She was an accomplished artist and a great cook known especially for her tasty biscuits.
She was an active and faithful member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, where she happily maintained the Cradle Roll duties for years and also taught Sunday School. She and Garland were pillars of their church for many years, giving freely of their time and talents. She was president of Our Saviour’s Prime Timers and a member of the North Johnson City Optimist Club.
She never lost her love for nursing and continued throughout her life to minister to the sick at Johnson City Memorial Hospital. She later retired from the Johnson City Medical Center.
She leaves to mourn her passing and celebrate her life her daughters, Deborah (Steve) Mayberry, of Knoxville, Pamela (Randy) Johnson, of Jonesborough, and Beth (Jeff) Anderson of Johnson City; her brothers, James (Etholeen) Burchette, of Newport, TN, and Herbert (Jayne) Burchette, of Anderson, SC; her grandchildren, Todd (Tatum) Mayberry, of San Antonio, TX, Blake (Karen) Mayberry, of Greenville, SC, Erin Johnson, of Johnson City, Anna Johnson, of Jonesborough, and Olivia Anderson, of Johnson City; and several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Johnson City, TN, with The Reverend James Nipper officiating.
The family will receive friends at the church from noon until the service hour of 2:00 PM.
Interment will follow at the Washington County Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 212 Sunset Drive, Johnson City, TN; or East Tennessee State University College of Nursing, ℅ The ETSU Foundation, PO Box 70721, Johnson City, TN 37614; or Milligan College Area of Nursing, PO Box 500, Milligan College, TN 37682.
The family would like to express our appreciation to the staff of Pine Oaks Assisted Living, Franklin Woods Hospital and her caregivers, Ann Emory and the staff of Home Instead Senior Care.
Appalachian Funeral Home is serving the family.