Leola Johnson

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 4, 2007

Services for Leola “Ola” Johnson, 83, who died Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, at Natchez Community Hospital, will be 11 a.m. today at Mackel’s Chapel with the Revs. John Frye and James Beverly officiating.

Burial will follow at Daughters of Zion Baptist Church under the direction of Robert D. Mackel and Sons Funeral Home.

Mrs. Johnson was born July 27, 1923, in Indianola, the daughter of Ben Daniel and Alice Green Daniel, the fourth of eight children. She was affectionately known as “Ola” and was always the support figure and role model for her family and friends. She was the inspiration for children in her neighborhood and throughout the city of Natchez.

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She received many awards, such as the “World’s Greatest GIrl Scout Leader” from troop 148. For her 73rd birthday, the former mayor of Natchez, Butch Brown, declared this day as “Leola Johnson Day” and she was given the key to the city. She also received citations from Bennie Thompson, a representative from Mississippi, Barney Schoby, former supervisor of ward four and former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. A big birthday celebration was held for her at her church, Daughters of Zion, featuring nieces, nephews, friends and the “Soulful 10,” a group made up of her 10 living children.

Some of her favorite things to do were fishing six days a week, taking care of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, frying chilcken and making blackberry pies.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and children, Betty Johnson and Robert Daniel Sr.

Survivors include four sons, Willie Daniel and wife, Geraldine, of Chicago, Frankie Washington and wife, Marilyn, of Pheoninx, Ariz., Allen Johnson of Los Angeles and Johnny Johnson of New Iberia, La.; five daughters, Leona of Chicago, Emma Bowie of Maryland, Clara and Jeannette of Natchez and Venester of Birmingham, Ala.; daughter-in-law, Jessie L. Daniel of Chicago; 16 grandchildren, Sandra Johnson, Crystal Swazy and Cydney Anderson of Natchez; 23 great-grandchildren, T’Ani and Ray J. Swazy, Michael Raven and Marilyn Johnson of Natchez; and one great-great grandchild; sister, Beatrice Danie of Natchez; and many nephews, nieces and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to cancer research or the organization of your choice.