HENDERSONVILLE - Opal Johnson, 87, of Hendersonville, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, after a short illness. She was born on Sept. 22, 1925, in Burnsville to the late Malley and Lula Whitson.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Preston "Pete" Johnson Sr.; her daughter, Gayle Axton; her sisters, Shirley Johnson, and Cleo Byrd; her brother, Gene Whitson, and an infant great-grandson, Logan Christopher.
Mrs. Johnson, an excellent student with a determined spirit, received her Bachelor of Arts in education from Western Carolina Teachers College, later to be named Western Carolina University. She was a beloved and caring fifth grade teacher at East Flat Rock Elementary School for over 20 years. Students never forgot the vivacious and loving Mrs. Johnson. Opal also worked for General Electric until her retirement in 1987.
Mrs. Johnson was known for her Godly and generous character, delivering homemade foods and goods to many people in the community. Opal was coined the "Bread Lady" due to her famous made from scratch bread, and some of her favorites included banana nut, zucchini, lemon poppy seed, sour dough, and the most difficult to resist, chocolate chip. Her culinary delights will be missed by many.
She is survived by her sons, Preston "Pete" Johnson Jr. and his wife, Judy, Kirby Johnson and his wife, Sherri, Scott Johnson and his fiancé, Wendie Hill; her brother, Jack Whitson and his wife, Peggy; two step-daughters, Thyletus Wright and her husband, Tom, Nova Apple and her husband, Paul; 10 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Our Mother, "Our cheerleader whenever we played, our teacher when we needed instruction, our disciplinarian when we were in error, our spiritual leader when we needed uplifting, our hero forever." The Johnson Family
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at Valley Hill Baptist Church with the Rev. Danny Pridmore officiating. Burial will follow at Campground Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church, and other times at the family home on Dana Road.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests the memorial contributions be made to Valley Hill Baptist Church, 118 School St., Hendersonville, N.C. 28739.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com.
Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors will is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in The Times-News from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2013