Mary Lou Johnson Longtime Resident of Pinole Mary Lou Johnson, died Saturday, April 16, 2011 surrounded by her beloved family. She was a proud and loving mother to her nine surviving children Linda France, Larry Johnson, Phyllis Johnson, Steven (Gwen) Johnson, Rebecca (Ron) O'Leary, Joda (Joe) Jackson, Tom (Nanette) Johnson, Robert Johnson and Mary Beth Taylor. Mary Lou was born in Springdale, AR to the late Harry Lee and Ruth Perkins Wobbe. She was raised on the family farm with her surviving sisters and brother Ann Dubois, Margaret Goodart, Carolyn Sarratt and Tom Wobbe; and was predeceased by siblings Larry Talifer and Virginia Lee Wobbe. She set out to make her way in life after graduating from Springdale High School in 1945 by taking an out-of-town job in DeQueen, AR at the Western Union office. By chance, a local Air Corpsman, on leave from his Bomber Squadron, stopped in to send a telegram and, as Mary Lou often said, "It was love at first sight". Marvin served in the 379th Air Force in Europe during World War II and upon his return, Marvin and Mary Lou married the loves of their lives. They were married over 58 years until Marvin's passing in 2005. Mary Lou was an avid gardener and nature lover. She delighted in sharing the fruits of her labor. She took joy in the multitude of birds that found their way into her yard. She looked forward to many family gatherings throughout the years and sharing meals with her neighborhood friends. Anyone that knew Mary Lou would recognize her for her keen fashion sense. Mary Lou acquired a resourceful can-do spirit during her childhood years on the family farm. She learned to cook, sew, paint, knit and quilt for her family. Mary Lou blessed us all with her sharp wit, wonderful sense of humor, courage and her distinctive laugh that was contagious to so many. Of the many things Mary Lou will be most remembered to all her family was instilling love, honesty, integrity and decency, but especially the many sacrifices for all of us she made throughout her life. Mary Lou was blessed with 19 grandchildren and 19 great-grand-children of whom she has helped guide through life with a nurturing hand and a soft heart. Services at 12:30pm on Monday, April 25 at First Baptist Church, 4555 Hilltop Drive, El Sobrante, CA. Celebration of Life Gathering to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to First Baptist Church.
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Published in Contra Costa Times from Apr. 21 to Apr. 23, 2011