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February 1, 2013

Mary Jo Thorne Johnson

MEADVILLE — Mary Jo Thorne Johnson, 86, of 711 Birch Drive, Meadville, and formerly of The Eagles Nest, Conneaut Lake, died peacefully at home on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, and has been welcomed in the Kingdom.

Born in Denver, Colo., July 8, 1926, a daughter of Ruby Mathis and Luther A. Thorne, she was orphaned at age 9 and, thereafter, lived with many families, including Fred and Annette Svantesson. Following high school graduation, she joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps and attended Seton School of Nursing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her nursing skills served her well throughout her life.

She married David V. Johnson on Dec. 21, 1945, and is survived by two sons, Thomas (Cathie) of Sewickley and Steven (Maureen) of Nashville, Tenn.; former daughter-in-law, Boel Johnson; two daughters, Claire Glove (Ron) of Canfield, Ohio; and Corinne Johnson of North East. She often said her greatest “treasures” were her children and grandchildren, Beth Johnson Kindelberger (Walt) of Delmont, Laurie Johnson Pantezzi of Potomac, Md., Chris Johnson of San Francisco, Calif., David Johnson (Valerie) of Paris, France, Daniel Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio, Jens Johnson (Laurie) of Austin, Texas, Robin Glove Mara (Ian) of Columbus, Ohio, Kirstin Glove Maher (Matthew) of Moody, Maine, Matthew Glove of Brooklyn, N.Y., Erik Stureson (currently serving in the Armed Forces), Kaitlin Stureson Frampton (Adam) of Meadville, Anders Stureson and Linnea Stureson, both of North East; plus nine great-grandchildren. She was also “Mom” to several international exchange students, Ian Ross of London, England; Per Svantesson, Jennie Andreen and Matti Svantesson, all of Sweden, Adadu Yemane of Ethiopia (now living in California), Cathy Levavasseur of France and Kris Gudjonsson of Iceland. Through the years many admirers have held Mary Jo as a model of the mother or grandmother they seek to be. “WWMJJD”?

While living in Cleveland, Mary Jo worked with the American Field Service, the Cleveland Council of Human Relations and the Cleveland Baptist Campus Ministry. A lady of great faith, she was an active member of High Street Community Church in Conneaut Lake, serving as an elder, choir member and Sunday school teacher. Mary Jo was a long-time volunteer with Hospice of Crawford County, both as a fundraiser and caregiver for patients. Hospice provided wonderful care to Mary Jo in the last weeks of her life. She was a member of the Meadville Antique Study Club and a well-known collector of and lecturer on antique samplers. She loved needlework and was a charter member of the Embroiderers’ Guild of Greater Cleveland and the Embroiderers’ Guild of America-Crawford County Chapter.

She loved people, enjoyed traveling all around the world and singing God’s praises. Her home and dining room table were always open to family and friends.

Mary Jo was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers; and a great-grandson, Trevor Pantezzi. Her husband of nearly 63 years, David, died on Oct. 25, 2009. Mary Jo often said, “If I die today — I will have really lived!” And she truly did.

The family will receive friends at Robert W. Waid Funeral Home, 581 Chestnut Street, Meadville, on Feb. 9 from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

A memorial service will be held at High Street Community Church, Conneaut Lake, at 2 p.m. Feb. 10.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to High Street Community Church, 9517 U.S. Highway 322, Conneaut Lake, Pa. 16316; Hospice of Crawford County, 464 Pine St., Meadville, Pa. 16335; or Doctors without Borders, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, Md. 21741 (or by calling (888) 392-0392 or online at doctorswithoutborders.org).

Share your memories and condolences at waidfuneralhome.net.

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