December 29, 1929-March 30, 2017
On Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 1:30 p.m., Mom was peacefully promoted to her heavenly home knowing that she was dearly loved. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and soon to be great grandmother, who made countless sacrifices for her family. “Jeanie, Jeanie the Dancing Machiney” has hung up her wheels on earth’s dance floor. We are comforted knowing that she is now dancing in heaven with both her legs again and is safely in Jesus’ arms, forever reunited with Him, and rejoicing there with her friends and family.
Mom, known to others as Jean Louise (Nelson) Johnson, was born in East Hampton, CT to William and Lillian (Moard) Nelson. She is survived by her four children from her former and predeceased husband, Donald Johnson: her son, Carl Johnson of Mesa, Arizona; and daughters, Corinne Mullen of Vernon, CT; Laura Noble of Boynton Beach, FL; and Karen Barylski of Putnam, CT. She is survived by her grandchildren; Dustin Mullen, Zachary and Eric Johnson, and Mitchel and Nathan Barylski. She was predeceased by her six brothers; Ronnie, Francis, Robert, Donald, John, and Frederick Nelson. Joan Bellanceau of Putnam, CT is her sole surviving sibling.
Our mom’s perseverance through life’s trials made her an inspiration to all. She made Rocky Balboa look like a pansy. At the age of 75 she miraculously survived a house fire thanks to God Almighty and the wonderful Putnam firefighters. Even her subsequent leg amputation did not stop her indomitable spirit; a mere three days after the surgery, she was hopping down the hallway with her walker eager to get out of rehab. Her sense of humor she maintained throughout life’s ups and downs. Once, she said: “Sometimes I feel like I have one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave.” When it was kindly pointed out to her that she had only one foot, she roared with laughter. In spite of her losses, she embraced these “handicaps” with her great sense of humor. She often joked saying: “I guess God is taking me to heaven little by little.”
Mom loved being a grandma: watching her grandchildren grow, cheering for them at their games. She was their biggest fan (she hardly missed a game). It brought her great joy to spoil her grandchildren. She enjoyed her cups of coffee and a smoke with her smoking buddies. Christmas and Halloween were her favorite holidays. Mom delighted in dressing up to spook the trick or treaters.
Jeanie was a rebel and hell on wheels (literally). She loved to live life on her own terms and she was a determined woman. As an avid football fan, this past Super Bowl she made a sign reading “Go Falcons!” and attached it to the back of her wheelchair parading up and down the hallways. Mom was a quirky, spirited woman. Red was her color, which is fitting because she was so full of life and fun. Jeanie touched so many lives and is greatly missed by all.
Mom had the greatest affection and utmost respect for Dr. Gerald Sullivan, her primary care doctor for over thirty years. Our family has the deepest gratitude for him. We also wish to thank all of the dedicated medical staff at Davis Place, Day Kimball Hospital, UMASS Cardiac ICU in Worcester, for caring for our mother.
While mom wanted no fanfare at her passing from this life to the next, in honor of her memory, and of her heartfelt concern for children fighting life-threatening diseases, donations can be made to her lifelong charity of choice, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. www.stjude.org
Mom will be cremated and her remains will be buried with her mother, Lilian Nelson, at St. Mary’s cemetery in Putnam, CT. We miss you mom, but we are comforted knowing that we will see you again. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Gilman – Valade Funeral Homes & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.
Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25, 26 NAS