Geraldine Maxie Bell Sowells Johnson
Corpus Christi - Geraldine Maxie Bell Sowells Johnson (29 January 1948-26 April 2021) a distinguished leader in education and empowerment of children and adults; counseling; leadership development; specialist in working with individuals with learning disabilities; and a community leader, was born Geraldine Maxie Bell Sowells in DeRidder, Louisiana. Johnson's parents, Jesse James Sowells and Catherine A. Jenkins Sowells were native Texans from East Texas. Her father, with an elementary school education, was a school bus driver, farmer, and carpenter, and her mother, with a junior high school education was a school cook, farmer's wife, domestic worker. She is the sixth of eight children- older siblings, sister- Wilma Lee Sowells Scott, brother- Welton Sowells, sister- Deloris Sowells, sister- Genell Sowells Carter, brother- Walter Sowells, and two younger, sister- Maxine Sowells, and brother- Roosevelt Jesse James Sowells. Geraldine was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus of LDS. She grew up in DeRidder, Louisiana, or may I say on our farm west of Rosepine. I had to pick vegetables (peas, okra, green beans, collars, cotton, etc.) before and after school each day. We would get up with the chickens in the morning and go to bed with the cows. After graduating from Vernon High School in May of 1966, she applied for work at Fort Polk Army Base in Leesville, LA. During the summer of 1966 she realized that working as a clerk-typist wasn't what she really wanted, so she went to Grambling College for Elementary Education. She left Grambling after graduation for Buffalo, New York with her husband, she taught at elementary and attended the University of Buffalo. Then she went back home to Lake Charles, Louisiana and attended McNeese State University and taught school in DeRidder, Louisiana. She left Louisiana for east Texas and taught school in Port Arthur, Texas. She left Port Arthur for Cheyenne, Wyoming where she taught elementary for 4 years. She then left Wyoming for Corpus Christi, Texas. During her travel she had four children Tone Johnson, III, Geralynn McB Johnson, Kenneth Tone Johnson and William Antone Tramaine Johnson. She got her PhD in Corpus Christi while teaching and having Mary Ann Vanburen Johnson, Sarah Elizabeth Mark Johnson and Gerald McTone Johnson. Then she decided to go into the Daycare business. She was a prison representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS. Affiliation and Honors: Committee to Eliminate Truancy-CCISD American Association for Counseling and Development, Texas Counseling Association, National Association of Substance Abuse, AFT- National Education Association, Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, Southern Early Childhood Association, Bay Area -Education of Young Children, American Entrepreneurs Association-member, Member of the Girl and Boy Scout Board- Corpus Christi, Member of the American Veterans Ladies Aux., Corpus Christi Black Chamber of Commerce, Bethune Daycare Board- past member, Life member of the NAACP, Crime and Sexual abuse Council-past member, Member of the American and Nueces county Medical Alliance- past treasurer, Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 6, 2021 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 6630 Wooldridge Rd. A Funeral Service will follow at 12 noon. Interment will be held later that day at 2:00 p.m. at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.