Vanessa L. Washington Johnson

  • "RIH and we will see you at the gate Vanessa. Shalom, love..."
    - Julia McLat Winfree
  • "I had the honor of serving on the Manchester School Board..."
  • "Vanessa, I felt as is I knew you through the postings on..."
    - Robin Towle
  • "We will you miss you and your contagious smile that would..."
    - Heather Bloemen
  • "The few years we knew each other meant so much to me. I..."
    - Richard Lefebvre

MANCHESTER -- Vanessa L. Washington Johnson, 57, of Manchester, died March 2, 2011, at Community Hospice House, Merrimack, after an illness.

She was born Oct. 4, 1953, in Manchester, daughter of the late Lionel and Lucy (Martin) Johnson.

She was campaign director for The United Way of Greater Manchester from 1994 to 1998.

From 2001 to 2008 she was communications associate and planned giving associate for the American Cancer Society and most recently was a computer applications training specialist and sole proprietor of Hendrix House.

She was active in the community and was involved with the Martin Luther King Coalition as program director, publicity coordinator and webmaster and was a member of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. She was elected to six terms on the Manchester School Board; served as past-president of the NAACP; vice president and secretary and a member of Manchester Lions Club and became the first female president.

She is survived by her husband, Dale Bloeman; four sisters, Phyllis Johnson, Jackye Johnson, Jessica Richardson and Ilene Johnson; and two nephews.

IN HER LIFE: She was involved with the Manchester YWCA as secretary of the board, Action Audit Task Force chair, National Convention delegate, N.H. Lions zone chair and Swift Water Girl Scout Council as a board member, nominating committee chair, and minority audit task force chair.

Vanessa also worked with the American Lung Association on the personnel committee, Greater Manchester Black Scholarship Foundation and was a founding member, scholarship awards committee chair, and secretary and on the Mayor's Task Force on Community Development.

SERVICES: Her memorial gathering is Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Cremation Society of New Hampshire, 243 Hanover St., Manchester.

The memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. in the chapel, with the Rev. Bertha Perkins officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Martin Luther King Coalition, c/o Traci Belanger, Wellness Center at SHNU, 2500 N. River Road, Manchester 03106.

The Cremation Society of New Hampshire is in charge of arrangements. For more information or to view an online guest book and memorial, please go to

Published in Union Leader on Mar. 6, 2011