Catherine Ryan Johnson – Obituary

By  | October 3, 2018 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

 Catherine Ryan Johnson passed from this life into eternity on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the age of 97. Kitty, as her friends called her, was born in Somerville, AL on December 13, 1920 to the late Marcus Wilson Ryan and Mary Lou Johnson Ryan. She was the middle child of nine children that all grew up on their family farm. She graduated from Hartselle High School and later earned a degree from Athens College. During that time she met and married George Thomas Johnson, Sr. from Monrovia, AL. After welcoming their first child, Cathy, Kitty and Tom moved to Crawford, GA where they soon also welcomed their first son, Tommy. In 1955, they returned to Huntsville for the rest of their lives. During that time their son, Mark, completed their happy family.


While in Huntsville, Kitty taught for many years beginning at West Huntsville High School as an English teacher and concluded her career as a typing teacher at Whitesburg Junior High. Over the years Kitty served her church and community through Cradle Roll ministry and organizations such as the Violet Club and Daughters of the American Revolution. She was an active member of First Baptist Church, Huntsville and was one of the main research writers of the church’s published history. She enjoyed singing and traveling with the “Hallelujah Choir” but is remembered best for her standup comedy routines in the church’s senior adult drama productions where she did her own version of Minnie Pearl, complete with the hat and price tag.


In addition to her husband Tom, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Truman Ryan, Talmadge Ryan, Leo Ryan, Alice Keyes, Jessie Eddy and Jo Nell Taylor; and grandchildren, George Thomas Johnson, III and Kelly Darlene Johnson.  She is survived by her children, Cathy Johnson Buettner and husband, Steve, of Austin, TX, Tommy Johnson and wife, Penny, and Mark Johnson and wife Tamra, both of Huntsville, AL; grandchildren, Kacy Johnson, Ryan Johnson and wife Mandy, Sarah Johnson, Hallie Johnson, and Chip Johnson; great-grandchildren, Ashleigh Niven Donaldson, Caroline Niven Hairston, Gracie, Ella, Lily, and Madeline Johnson; and great-great-grandchildren, Logan Donaldson, Chesley and Layla Hairston.


Visitation will be Thursday, October 4 from 5:00-7:00 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home and at 10:00 on Friday in the chapel at First Baptist Church, Huntsville. The funeral service will be at First Baptist Church on Friday, October 5 at 11:00 with burial following in Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery in Monrovia.


In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to the First Baptist Church Missions Foundation with the designation “Vietnam,” in care of First Baptist Church, 600 Governors Drive, Huntsville, Alabama 35801.

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