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Nancy Terry Johnson

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Nancy Terry Johnson Obituary
Nancy Terry Johnson

AGE: 85 • Wilmington

Nancy T. Johnson passed away from a heart attack on April 14, 2016 at Foulk Manor South in Wilmington. Her husband of 45 years, Ralph Johnson, and her siblings, Robert and Emily, preceded Nancy in death. She is survived by her brother, Richard Terry, daughters, Deborah Haigh and Kimberly Cook; grandchildren Michelle and Kyle Mackey, Jeff Cook, Katie Haigh, and JT Johnson; great grandchildren Evie Michels and Max and Kayla Mackey; and numerous nieces and nephews, most particularly her sister Emily's daughter, Sharron San Martino.

Nancy grew up in Swarthmore, PA and attended Bowling Green State University, where she studied Health & Physical Education. After she graduated from college in 1953, she headed west to Colorado where she taught for two years and met her future husband Ralph. They moved back to Swarthmore in 1955 and married that same year.

They moved to Wilmington, Delaware two years later and Nancy took a break from work to start a family. Nancy loved motherhood and was very devoted to her daughters. Once the girls were in elementary school, she went back to work, teaching Health & Physical Education and coaching field hockey at Hanby Jr. High for 15 years and Mt. Pleasant Jr. High for five years.

Nancy and Ralph had an adventurous and happy life together. They were long-time members of St. David's Episcopal Church and enjoyed playing golf at Penn Oaks Country Club in Westchester, PA. They traveled to such places as Kenya, Brazil, French Rivera, Italy, Russia and Alaska and made numerous trips to visit Ralph's extended family in Nebraska. After their daughters finished college, the couple retired to Avon Park, Florida, where they lived for 30 years. It was the perfect retirement. They had a lake in front of their house and a golf course behind it, plus a swimming pool in the backyard. They enjoyed their golf carts, and the grandkids did too! Ralph and Nancy loved gardening year round and were active with Highlands County Chapter of the American Parkinson's Disease Association.

Sadly, Ralph passed away in 2001 at the age of 79. Over the next few years, Nancy survived breast cancer, a heart attack, and other health problems. She became very ill and had to have both legs amputated; this was a difficult time in the life of such an active woman. With hard work and physical therapy, she persevered and regained mobility with a wheel chair. In 2009, she took on the role of "Resident Librarian" at Sunbridge's Elkton Rehabilitative in Elkton, MD. She orchestrated the alphabetization of the books, kept it organized, and encouraged residents and guests to donate books. Several years ago, honorary daughter Barbara Hill gave Nancy an iPad for Christmas. With the technical assistance of Barb and granddaughters Michelle and Katie, Nancy eagerly started writing her autobiography. Two years and 66 chapters later, she had copies printed, bound, and shipped out to family members.

The family thanks the staff of Foulk Manor South for their care as well as the clergy and parishioners of St. David's.

A funeral service will be held at St. David's Episcopal Church, at 11:00am, Saturday, June 4. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to St. David's Episcopal Church, 2320 Grubb Road, Wilmington, DE 19810. Messages of condolence may be sent to
Published in The News Journal from May 26 to May 31, 2016
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