ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — Sally A. Johnson, born on March 21, 1937, in Waterloo, Indiana, to Eston 'Pie' F. Mergy and Ruby P. Whysong, passed away at Wuesthoff Memorial Hospital in Rockledge, Florida. on February 23, 2014. after a long struggle with multiple myeloma.
Sally grew up in Ashley, Indiana, and was a graduate of Ashley High School. She met her husband, James E. Johnson, and was married in 1961.
After six years as a co-owner of a family business in Helmer, Indiana, Sally accompanied her husband on military assignments in California, Republic of the Philippines, North Carolina, Germany, and Alabama. Following these tours, Sally began a career with the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1976, working first in the Defense Attache Office, Budapest, Hungary. She left employment with DIA briefly in 1978 to work for the International Rescue Commission in Bangkok, Thailand, visiting refugee camps assisting with the processing of Cambodian refugees. She returned to DIA for assignment to Warsaw, Poland then Beirut, Lebanon.
Sally was seriously injured in the terrorist bombing of the Beirut Embassy on April 18, 1983, for which she was awarded the Purple Heart. For her overall achievements in Beirut, she was awarded the DIA Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. She was next assigned to the Defense Attache Office, Moscow, USSR, 1985-87. Between overseas assignments, Sally worked at DIA Headquarters in various assignments, the last being executive secretary to DIA's Director of Operations.
At the time of her retirement from DIA, she was presented the Defense Intelligence Director's Medal. Following her departure from DIA, Sally was the office and security manager for Battelle Memorial Institute in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.
Sally and her husband retired to Cocoa, Florida, in 2000. She became an orchid enthusiast, gardener, tour guide for visitors, and lover of ocean cruises.
Following her diagnosis, she was an active participant in the Multiple Myeloma Support Group.
Sally had a smile and enthusiasm that were contagious. She was adventurous, wanting to do everything life offered. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Sally was preceded in death by her mother and father.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, James; son, Michael James (Annie) of Mentor, Ohio; daughter, Paula Ann (Al) of St. Louis, Missouri; four grandchildren, Angel AnnMarie, Melanie Linda, Matthew Eston, and Ashlee Kristea; and five great-grandchildren. Also surviving her are her brothers: Charles L. Mergy (Gina) of Angola, Indiana; Billy J. Mergy of Auburn, Indiana; and Larry R. Mergy (Bonnie) of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A visitation for family and friends will be held at Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge on Friday from 4-6 p.m.
A Mass will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, US 1, Cocoa on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Burial services will be at Arlington National Cemetery.
Florida Memorial Gardens
5950 S US Highway 1
Rockledge, FL 32955
Published in KPCNews on Feb. 27, 2014