We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Cloud Funeral Home
It is with most sincere sympathy that we formally announce the passing of, Ms. M. Jeanette Johnson who transitioned from this life on Friday May 13, 2022.
M. “Mattie” Jeanette Johnson was the eleventh of fourteen children born to the late Reverend Green Taylor and Malissa Williams Johnson in Cairo, Georgia, on November 5, 1926. Jeanette was the last living member of her immediate family. She was not only preceded in death by her immediate family, but by many close relatives and friends as well.
Jeanette was baptized and became an active member in Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church (Papa’s Church), in Cairo, Georgia, where her father served as minister for a number of years. She renewed her Mount Calvary membership upon retiring to Cairo. Though hers was a family of many children, there was a particular specialness about each. They loved and enjoyed each other’s company immensely throughout the years.
Fervently independent and referred to by her father as “the sassiest youngun” that he had, Jeannette always held her own, utilizing her assertiveness and survivor skills, no matter what, until the end, despite growing up in the throngs of segregation.
Jeanette graduated from Washington High School in Cairo, Georgia, attended Fort Valley State College (now University), completed Grady Hospital School of Nursing and attained a higher nursing degree from Columbia University, where she was known as “Jay” to her classmates, friends and colleagues. She served in various nursing capacities, including supervision, at: Tuskegee Institute University, Meharry in Nashville, Tennessee, Chicago, Freedmen’s (now Howard University Hospital), and Providence Hospitals in Washington, DC.
Jeanette also served as Private Duty Nurse to “The Brown Bomber,” Joe Lewis in Las Vegas, Nevada and was always at the bedside of her family members and dear friends whenever needed.
n 1948, Jeanette met fellow nursing students that became lifelong friends. Only a very few survived her. Mary Alice “Dilly” Dillehay, a fellow nursing student and her roommate at Grady, became her forever sister friend and remained so for 74 years. They not only worked and shared every aspect of life together, they talked several times daily until Jeanette’s life was no more.
Though the end of life was not anticipated, nieces and nephews readied her for and took her on a trip to Kissimmee, Florida to spend the 2021 Christmas and 2022 New Year holidays. Jeanette had an awesome time eating out, shopping, riding the “Eye of Orlando” ferris wheel, and spending time with generations of nieces and nephews.
On the night of May 13, 2022, following a short but quickly debilitating illness, Jeanette peacefully exited this life as we know it. Keeping tabs on the weather was a constant for Jeanette, so as one enjoys the peace of a beautiful, warm sunlit day, remember her smiles and the love she shared in her caring, protective way.
Generations of nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends, Mary Alice “Dilly/Rosemary” Dillehay Humphries, Anita “Ms. Nita” Shelton, and goddaughter, Karen Abney Pennington, cherish the memories and legacy that M. Jeanette Johnson bequeathed to us ALL.