Evelyn Maxine Thomas Johnson

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Evelyn Maxine Thomas Johnson was born in the farming community of Cooter, Mo., during the Great Depression. Her parents were Marshall Henry Thomas and Ludie Blessing Thomas. She passed away at her home in Blytheville on Dec. 29, 2021.

She was married to Billy Gene Johnson for over 50 years. They are parents of four children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Maxine was the first child in a family of eight. She was the exemplary big sister to all who followed in the family. She set the bar high in schoolwork when she was invited to start school early by the first-grade teacher who noticed her aptitude and enthusiasm for learning. She graduated valedictorian of her Cooter High School class. Maxine was always the one to help her farming parents, very hard-working, kind and helpful with the younger children, tending, singing and reading to them. She was a very generous, obedient child of God.

She was the epitome of a Christian lady doing what she believed the Lord expected of her. Maxine taught high school girls Sunday School class for several years. She also taught First Baptist Church in Blytheville’s pre-school. She always contributed to First Baptist Church’s projects and missions.

After finishing high school and Draughon’s Business College in Memphis, she briefly worked at First National Bank in Blytheville. She then married and she and Bill moved to Number Nine. She was employed by Langston Enterprise where she used her accounting and farming background skills. Maxine was the bookkeeper and office manager for over 40 years. She was an exemplary employee, dedicated and loyal to a fault.

Maxine’s priorities in life were raising her four children to be educated Christians and good citizens who were respectful of others. She loved them unconditionally and expected their best. Her precious grandchildren were her pride and joy. Maxine loved spending time with her family and did so especially on Sundays when she cooked her famous Sunday dinners. She was known to be an excellent cook.

She was politically conservative and very concerned and outspoken about the state of our country.

Maxine loved spending time with her grown-up siblings throughout her life. Some of the best times were large family holiday gatherings, especially in the home of her parents, whom she adored and watched over carefully. She never failed to spend time with them.

She shared the Thomas DNA that said, “Go” – anytime, anywhere. In cars, planes, trains, ships and even a hot air balloon. She and her sisters began a tradition of summer getaways, which eventually led to include her brothers and their spouses. The first trip was to Williamsburg, Vir., then expanded to historical and fun places such as New York City, Boston and Plymouth, Mass., Washington, D.C, Victoria British Columbia, Sedona and the Grand Canyon, Savannah, Ga., Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite, Destin, the Bahamas, Cancun, Alaska, Yellowstone and more. She loved the historic areas as well as the resorts.

She had a passion for the arts and attended many plays, musicals and museums. Her favorites were the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York City, the paintings of Renoir and Monet, and the Broadway plays of Guys and Dolls.

Her husband, Bill Johnson, her son and his wife, Mark and Denise Johnson, and her grandson, Alex Johnson, preceded her in death, as did her daughter, Cara Johnson Goff; also, her parents and in-laws, Thomas Neely and Cliffie Johnson; and two sisters, Myrle Thomas and Mary Frances Buus.

Maxine leaves to mourn her passing her sons, William Thomas Johnson and Mellanie and Dr. Scott Edward Johnson and Mona, all of Blytheville; her son-in-law, Steve Goff; grandchildren, Amber Johnson and Whitney Wood of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jamie Goff, John Thomas Goff of Blytheville, Joshua Johnson and Kara of New Orleans, La., Luke Johnson and Victoria of Memphis and Katie Atkinson of Massachusetts; great-grandchildren, Skylar Grace Stanfield, Jackson Goff, Leah Goff and Oliver Goff; brothers, Dr. Jerrell Thomas and Vicki of Simi Valley, Calif., and Kenneth Thomas and Jennette of Blytheville; sisters, Shirley Johnson-May and Jim of Cooter and Wentzville, Mo., Margie Hester of Steele and Nina Tackett and Terry of Nashville; brother-in-law, Karl Buus of Pennsylvania; and about 90 nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.

If after hearing all of this you think Maxine Johnson was a saint, well, she is!

Many thanks to Mona Johnson and Intia Jones, her very special caretakers for many, many months.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Jan. 2, at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church with Dr. Ron Wilcoxson officiating. Burial followed in Elmwood Cemetery. The family received friends from 2 p.m. until service time at First Baptist Church. The family requests memorials be made in Maxine’s honor to First Baptist Church in Blytheville. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.cobbfuneralhome.com.