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1925 Annie 2023

Annie Louise Johnson

August 16, 1925 — July 28, 2023

 

Lifes Journey

 

Annie Louise” Butler-Johnson:

Mother, Grandmother, Friend, and Servant.

 

Trust In Jehovah with all your heart,

and do not lean upon your own understanding.

In all your ways take notice of him,

and he himself will make your paths straight.”   

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Annie Louise Johnson, commonly known as Louise”, was born August 16, 1925, in Durham, North Carolina to Robert Butler and Gertrude Wilcher.  They had a total of eight children (four boys and four girls).  They were Robert Lee (Robbie), Ethel Lee, DeWitt, Ola Mae, Salle Mae (Aunt Sal), James (Uncle Top), John T., and Louise, who was called affectionately, Black Gal”.  As a child, Louise attended Lyon Park Elementary School, and Hillside High School in Durham, N.C.  Louises oldest sister, Sallie Mae Anderson (Aunt Sal), said; Louise was spoiled, just spoiled… she could get anything from anyone, she wanted, anytime she wanted.  She wasnt so much of a brat, but she was just loved…loved by everyone.”  And Yes, she was!!!

 

 Louise s mother, Mrs. Butler, passed away in 1932 when she was a young child, and her father passed when she was eleven years old.  The children were sent to Washington, D.C. to live with their Aunt Sarah Hill, where they developed and were instilled in a deeper sense of closeness for, and between family members.  During her last few years in High School, Louise moved to Detroit, Michigan, to live with her Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Buck.  And yet again, she would be needed to help her ailing Grandfather, Mr. William Wilcher, and returned to North Carolina.  During that time in Durham, she met the love of her life, the handsome Conway B. Johnson Sr., of Hope, Arkansas; who was serving in the U.S. Army.  While sweeping her off her feet, he later proposed matrimony and on February 09, 1945, they were united as man and wife. The happy couple moved to Dallas, Texas where they gave birth to their first born: Shirley Ann in 1946, followed by Conway Jr., also known as Butch” who was born in 1948.  Unfortunately, while serving in the U.S. Army, Conway became ill with respiratory problems and was sent to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where he remained for 18 months.  Louise stayed in Dallas, raising the children as a single parent with the assistance of her Father & Mother In- Law, the Reverand Chauncey & Wanita Johnson. Louise always said; I dont worry about anything; God is with me.”  Her spiritual journey began at an early age, but blossomed when she joined her Father-In-Law, the Reverend C.B. Johnson at his church; the Magnolia C.M.E. church of Dallas, Tx. 

 

There she was a member of the choir and with her strong contralto voice, was featured often as a soloist.  In 1953, along with their two young children, Louise moved to Denver, Colorado to join Conway Sr., where she began searching for a church home.  A family member suggested she visit Cleaves C.M.E. of Denver, which was led by the late Pastor Bunton, and after visiting the church, she felt at home and joined Cleaves. In 1956, the family was blessed with their third and final child, Michael David. And now, the Johnson family was complete, or so thought.  In the early seventies, after being contacted by her sisters and brothers (Sallie Mae Anderson, Ola Mae McNeil, James (Uncle Top”) Butler, and DeWitt Butler), who informed her that their older sister Robbie had died, leaving their nephew James Borland, alone to raise eleven children.  Led by her deep-rooted sense of family; Louise and Michael, with the support of Conway Sr., went to Maryland. In doing her part in keeping the family together, Louise accepted one of the eleven children, Margaret Borland, her niece. 

 

She returned to Denver bringing Margaret with her to raise as a second daughter; and sister to Shirley Ann, Conway Jr., and Michael David.  Although challenged with the problems of marriage, Louise and Conway Sr. remained married for 59 years until his untimely death in 2004.  Michael said, The final five years, were the happiest I saw my mother and father. They truly loved and knew each other”.

 

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY:

Louise loved the church and Cleaves in particular.  She loved the members of the church, and the community it served.  Louise served in various capacities including treasurer and was thought of as the Church Mother”, where she served for over 50 years.  Although Louise remained an active and dedicated member of Cleaves, she wanted to know the truth and would have Bible studies with Shirley, Michael, and several other members of the Christian congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses.  She would often refer to God, by His English translated name, Jehovah!  And yes, although she was continually learning, she truly loved Jehovah God and His son Jesus Christ!

 

Pillar In The Community & The First at Many (Louise was a servant):

 

Louise never met a stranger!  Even at the beautiful age of 97 years old, she could walk into a room and it would light up.  Louise enjoyed family,  friends and, parties.  She could be seen cutting a rug” or dancing the night away.  She especially loved being around and helping young people.   Truly it was said, that Louise lived her life serving and caring for others. She fed and clothed the homeless. She was  mother to the motherless. And she was friend to the friendless.  And without a doubt, she was the Church Mother of her cherished Cleaves Memorial CME Church.  Louise was also the first at many things. To name a few; she was the first Black coat check at the exclusive Gotham and Stanley Hotels. The first Black woman to serve as President of the Five Points Business Association. 

 

Served as President of The Colorado CUEEs. And the first Black woman to own a clothing store in the heart of the Five Points; Welton Department Store, which later became Family Fads. At each store, Louise granted unearned credit, gave suits, apparel, and whatever else was needed. Louise was known for her loving and giving heart. 

 

Louise fell asleep in death Friday, July 28, 2023, at the Elm Haven/Genesis Nursing Home, after experiencing several minor strokes, which placed her in short term home hospice, before being transferred to Elm Haven.  Louise was the last of the Family Elders” and was preceded in death by her sister Robert Lee Borland, Durham, North Carolina; Sallie Mae Anderson, Fairmont Heights, Maryland; Ola Mae McNeil, Seat Pleasant, Maryland; James Uncle Top” Butler, Washington, D.C.; DeWitt Butler,  Washington D.C.; and John T. Butler of Washington, D.C.: Louise will be laid to rest with her beloved husband, Conway Bertrand Johnson Sr., at Fort Logan National Cemetery. May they rest in peace, until Jesus Christ returns and ushers in Jehovah Gods new system. Here on earth and in heaven!  We so look forward to that day, when well see all of our loved ones again, who have fallen asleep in death!!!

 

Survivors:

Louise is survived by:

Three Children: Shirley Ann Wright of Aurora, Colorado; Conway B. Johnson Jr. Denver, Colorado; and Michael  (Myco) David Johnson, Denver, Colorado.

 

One Niece/Daughter: Margaret Borland, Denver, Colorado.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, August 17, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home & Cremation

6601 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

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Celebration of Life

Friday, August 18, 2023

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home & Cremation

6601 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

Livestream

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Graveside Service

Friday, August 18, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Fort Logan National Cemetery

4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO 80236

Stage Area A

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