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Nell Johnson

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JOHNSON Mrs. Nell Johnson, teacher, farmer, civil rights activist, 79, passed away, Thursday Dec. 1, 2005, after a lingering illness. Mrs. Johnson was a popular teacher at Paxon High School back in the 1960's and 1970's. She was the teacher who you could go see for help on all your non-academic problems, problems at home or problems with your parents. Together with her husband, Earl, and Earl's father, V.C., and Earl's brother, Charles, and Charles' wife, Betty, the family had operated the famous Dinsmore Dairy Company. The dairy was the best-known local distributor of dairy products in North Florida, featuring "Golden Guernsey" milk. During its heyday the family farm was the biggest herd of registered Guernseys in the world. Nell and Earl had first met through civil rights organizations in Jacksonville. The family was deeply involved in civil rights fights, working to desegregate Jacksonville. Due to the family's unpopular civil rights work, boycotts were organized against the Dinsmore Dairy Company which ultimately forced the family to sell out and give up on the retail operation. Nell is survived by two children, Andy (Mary) Johnson, former member of the Florida House and now a local radio talk show host in Jacksonville, and Carolyn (Dale) Law, who is a teacher in the Duval County Public Schools, now at Sheffield Elementary; three grand-children: Drew (Kristen), Daniel, and Kate Johnson; two sisters: Helen Swails and Mary Ann Stokes; and two brothers: Tom and Dan Howes. Funeral services will be held at 6 PM on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 at the Dinsmore United Methodist Church, 10604 Iowa Avenue, in Jacksonville's Northside, just off Old Kings Road North, followed by a potluck dinner. Pastor Ed Murfin will lead in the celebration of Nell's life. The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to Dinsmore or Riverside Park United Methodist Churches. PEEPLES FAMILY FUNERAL HOMES, North Jacksonville Chapel, 2220 Soutel Drive is serving the family. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2005
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