Mary Elizabeth Cornick Johnson was born to Walter and Ethel Swyers Cornick on January 9th, 1934, and passed away on February 20th, 2022 at the Presbyterian Manor in Rolla, MO.
Mary was an accomplished pianist and was taught the classics but her passion was playing the popular music of the day and her mother's music that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s in high school she sang in the girls chorus, the trio, sextet, and played in the band and later accompanied the girl's course. She shared her Talent playing for weddings, funerals and donated her time as pianist for the Rolla Rotary Club for 10 years. She was an organist for the Eastern Star for 10 years. Afterward, she and Jim served as worthy matrons and Worthy Patron. Upon graduating high school she was employed as a draftsman later called negative engraver at the United States Geological Survey. In 1955 Mary married the love of her life Air Force Sergeant Jim Johnson. She took five years to break from her job to travel with Jim wherever he was stationed. After Jim decided to give up 4 years of military service to go into business. Mary resumed her job at USGS and retired after 30 years. She and Jim moved back to St James and bought a small farm at the edge of town. They did all gardening, canning, cows, chickens, turkeys, guineas, and always had a pet dog. Their home was always open to family and friends. She and Jim hosted family reunions, holiday dinners, school reunions, Fall Festival parties, fish fries, and BBQs. They bought and sold land, remodeled houses, and Co-established small subdivisions. Mary always said of her life with Jim, there was never a dull moment. Mary was an avid history buff and a patriot, she loved her country and believed we should stand for our pledge of allegiance to honor a grand old flag. In 1975 their life took a new direction, she and Jim opened their home to 4 youngsters who needed a home. There were slumber parties, hayrides, graduations, and weddings. She and Jim love them dearly and considered them to be their children. She and Jim had a wonderful 44 years, but as in all families, there were sad times. She and Jim lost two infants sons. They cared for Mary's mother and Uncle until they passed away. Mary's unwavering faith in God gave her the strength to carry on. In 1989 they sold their farm and built their retirement home on land they owned north of St James, where they enjoyed the country life feeding the squirrels, deer turkey, and even the raccoons. In 1997 they sold her country home and moved to Warsaw, Missouri on Truman Lake, where through the years they had spent many weekends fishing. Jim passed away In 1999 and Mary sold their home and moved back to her beloved Saint James to be with family and friends, and continued working with her flowers and of course a little gardening until her health didn't permit her to be in her yard anymore.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jim, her son, Shane Mogab two infant sons, and two spiritual sisters.
She is survived by her children, Jeffrey Cantrell, his sister Sherry Cantrell McVey and husband David, Michael Norton, and daughter-in-law Tammy Mogab. 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren and two spiritual sisters that she loved dearly.
Mary Johnson will lie in state from 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 25, 2022, at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, MO.
The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 26, 2022, at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James with Joey Bartle Officiating. Alan and Cathy Wynn will sing and play Mary’s favorite songs. Pallbearers will be Josh Gminiski, Travis Mogab, Christopher McVey, Austin Mogab, John Dalton Mogab, and Brad Schultz. Honorary Pallbearers will be Peter Johnson, Rick Barnes, David McVey, Michael Norton, Jeff Cantrell, Jered Norton, and Michael Gminski. Burial will be next to her beloved husband Jim Johnson at the St. James Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Phelps County Animal Rescue of St. James.
All arrangements are under the direction of the Jones Funeral Home of St. James, MO.
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