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Janet Louise (Day) Johnson(1940 - 2012)

Janet Louise Day Johnson, born February 17, 1940, in Rochester, New York, passed from this world peacefully the evening of December 28, 2012, in Louisburg, North Carolina. Janet was the daughter of George William and Louise Day-Manning, and step-daughter of Clinton Manning.

Janet was a long-time teacher's aide at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School in Front Royal, Virginia, from where she retired, and volunteered with many organizations including the Shenandoah Shores Volunteer Fire Department, the Front Royal Cardinals, the Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society, and she served as a member of Marlow Heights Baptist Church. Janet gave of herself tirelessly and believed every child deserved the opportunity for a good education and the right to be heard. Her impact on the many people with whom she worked and associated is still felt today.

Janet did not do for others to gain recognition or to win awards. She simply followed her heart when she recognized a need. Whether opening her doors for neighborhood youth or transient ball players, or putting on a clown suit and makeup to entertain Special Olympians or hospital patients, Janet welcomed selflessness if it meant uplifting others. And while in her last years Janet was the one who needed to be held-up, she asked for no sacrifices to be made on her behalf. She remained selfless to the end. Her treasures are surely laid up in heaven.

Janet loved her children and grandchildren without exception. Whether chasing the neighborhood bully down the street with a broom after delivering a snowball to the face of one of her children, or wishing to own the pain of another child who had been attacked by a swarm of wasps, Janet ceaselessly showed how much she cared. She was the loving mother of Stephanie Johnson McHale of Florida, Tamara Johnson Long of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Lance Eric Johnson of Nome, Alaska; mother-in-law of Charlie Long and Stephanie Masters Johnson; and compassionate grandmother of Amanda Makely, Lauralee and Rachel McHale, and Zachary, Holly, Justin, Colin, and Savanna Long.

Janet is survived by partner, Bela James Johnson, Jr.; sister-in-law, Meredith Ann Johnson Crawford and spouse Butch Crawford; step-sisters, Priscilla Cratsley and Pat Wiegand; the aforementioned children and grandhildren; and great-grandchildren, Natalee Louise Makely and Charlee McHale.

A memorial service will be held at Marlow Heights Baptist Church in Front Royal on Saturday, January 26, at 11:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made to The Special Olympics at www.SpecialOlympics.org

Funeral preparations were made by Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, at 252-451-8800.

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2013
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