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VERA JOHNSON

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Vera H. Johnson Ms. Vera Johnson, one of four children born to the late Fannie Mae Hobdy on January 24, 1929, peacefully exchanged time for eternal life during the morning on March 15, 2010. This exchange took place in Hayward, California. Ms. Vera Johnson was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She joined Hutchinson Street Baptist Church, at an early age and had continued to keep the teachings of the Bible to her heart. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1947. After leaving high school, she continued her education at Alabama State University, majoring in English Composition. Her skill in this subject helped to garner positions as Secretary of the Choir, Usher Board, and the Montgomery Improvement Association. While in college, she married the man she loved and remained with until his death in 1987, Gene B. Johnson. She held various positions in the Montgomery Improvement Association, fighting to bring about changes with the Bus Boycott and Civil Rights Movement. She marched with Martin Luther King many miles in her efforts to gain equality for all. Vera was instrumental with the Bus Boycott, in Montgomery Alabama, working closely with Rosa Parks. Having met Rosa Parks at Montgomery Fair, Rosa was a seamstress there and Vera operated the elevator, she was familiar with both sides of the boycott movement. In addition, she had been a member of the NAACP for many years, with her last tenure with Hayward's NAACP Chapter under the guidance of President Freddie M. Davis. She moved to California in 1962, with her beloved husband and three daughters, settling in Hayward, Ca. in 1963. Her fourth daughter, Karyn, was born here in California. She joined Palma Ceia Baptist Church, under Pastor Charles F. Bennett, as one of its Charter Members. Vera was active in school and community organizations. In the 1980's, she worked in a board position for Tennyson Parent Association, working to bring effective communication between parents, school officials, and students. After raising her children, Vera decided her plate now had some additional room. Satisfied she had steered her girls correctly in the academic field, all daughters holding advanced degrees with some holding multiple advanced degrees, she re-enrolled in college majoring in Computer Language at Chabot College. After the death of her husband, Vera travelled extensively with her daughters. She was most proud of her trips to Jamaica, in which she made several trips. What started as a vacation initially with daughters Ouida, Iris, and Karyn, became a new avenue of knowledge for her. She yearned to learn the history of the island both past and present, travelling into the inner parts of the island to accomplish this. She later travelled to South America with the World Health Organization (WHO) and her daughter Lisa, to learn the cultural habitant of this vast area. In 1995, Vera felt she could share some of her warmth with others. She began the task of being a foster mom to children in Alameda County. She even undertook the task of emergency placement of children, until a permanent place was found. Of these children, she successfully raised 2 young women and a young man who is to graduate this year. During her spare time, Vera continued to enjoy travelling, pulling the one-arm bandit, socializing with friends - young and old, and listening to music. Her friends and family knew not to call her between 10am and 11am; this was her time to watch The View. She continued to stay on top of political issues, birthdays of her family and friends, and church commitments. In addition, she taught several classes at Chabot College, after the age of 70, and workshops for foster mothers. Vera Johnson leaves to cherish her memory: daughters: Ouida, Lisa, and Karyn. Nine grandchildren: Kara, Tia, Ashleigh, Larry, Gene, Eric, Arlen, Buford, and Richard. One brother: Charles Hobdy, 2 son-in-laws, 38 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends. Preceding her in death is her beloved husband, Gene, daughter Iris, and two brothers, Ezell and Cleveland. Memorial service will be held on March 26, 2010 at 2:00pm, at Palma Ceia Baptist Church in Hayward, California. Interment will be held privately with family later. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Ouida at ouidaroberts@yahoo.com or Karyn at karyndorsey@yahoo.com.

Published in Inside Bay Area on Mar. 26, 2010
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