Virginia Nadine Johnson
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84, died on Nov. 18, at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, following a long illness. Her body was broken but her mind and heart remained intact until the end.
Virginia, who was known as Nadine to her family and many friends, was born in 1929 in Oklahoma and became part of the Dust Bowl migration when her father, Cleo, moved his family to California in 1933 in search of greater opportunity.
Cleo Pinson opened a gas station on La Cadena Drive, which he operated for three decades, earning a reputation among the long-haul truckers and motorists for honesty and service. Virginia witnessed the changes in Colton as it grew from a primarily agricultural community to a thriving town of 40,000. In World War II she was active in scrap metal drives to support the war effort. As a fun-loving and sometimes mischievous teen she loved to jitterbug.
By war's end she had married a Navy man, John M. Johnson, and subsequently gave birth to three children, John Jr., Linda Susan, and Wendy June. Virginia spent her entire adult life in Colton, living at addresses on Alston Avenue, Ohio Street, Pennsylvania Street and Holly Avenue.
Virginia had two abiding passions besides her husband and children: she loved to play golf and to read. As a golfer she recorded three holes in one at Colton Golf Club and won many awards for her play. As a reader she was a regular patron of the old Colton Public Library in the Carnegie building that is now a museum.
Virginia was a woman of style, wit and grace who had the ability to make instant friends of strangers. She enjoyed life and helped others, especially her family, to do the same. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
She is survived by her husband of 68 years, John Johnson; daughters Linda and Wendy; son John Jr.; grandchildren Michael, Debbie, Lindy and Dylan; great-grandchildren Alexander, Jason, Brandon and David.
A memorial service was scheduled Saturday at Montecito Memorial Park in Colton. Interment was at the same cemetery, in the plot housing the remains of her father, whom she adored.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on Nov. 24, 2013