Joan Johnson of Tehachapi died Monday, May 15, in Bellingham, Wash., at the age of 87.
Born April 6, 1930, in Clifton, Tenn., to Charles and Bertha Peacock, she was the youngest of four siblings. The family moved to Delano in 1942. She met Richard “Dick” Johnson in 1948 while both attended Bakersfield College. They were married for more than 67 years, from Aug. 12, 1949, until his death in Tehachapi on Dec. 27, 2016.
Joan worked as a secretary in the counseling office at Tehachapi High School and at the cement plant in Monolith before joining her husband’s family working at the Tehachapi News. There she set type, worked as a proofreader, and helped in other ways in addition to writing a popular weekly column, “Over the Back Fence.”
She was also an exemplary homemaker and community volunteer who maintained her greatest focus on family, especially after daughter, Jana, was born in 1955 and son, Scott, in 1963.
Volunteer activities included the Tehachapi Heritage League’s mural project and the Guild of Tehachapi Hospital. She spent many hours helping out at the Guild’s thrift store, raising funds for hospital equipment.
Survivors include her daughter, Jana Clow of Lynden, Wash., and son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Pam Johnson of Tehachapi. Also grandson, Matthew Clow and partner Liz Otten of Lynden; granddaughter and her husband, Megan and Ryan Van Diest of Lynden; grandson, Christopher and his wife Rachael of Evanston, Ill., granddaughter, Samantha Johnson of Los Alamitos; and grandson, Alec Johnson and partner Delaney Dragomanovich of Huntington Beach; as well as great-grandchildren Kyler, Brenyn and Jace Van Diest of Lynden.
Other survivors are a special niece Nancy Gibbons, her husband, Jim, and great niece and nephew Blake and Julie Gibbons of Pismo Beach, along with a host of Johnson nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Johnson home, 203 W. A St., Tehachapi. Private internment with husband Dick will take place at Bakersfield National Cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Whatcom Hospice House, 2806 Douglas St., Bellingham, WA 98229.