Shirley D. Johnson
January 3, 1935 – April 29, 2021
Shirley D. Johnson of Longwood, Florida passed away on April 29, 2021. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida on January 3, 1935 to the late Noel and Delila (Cowart) Hill. The youngest by 18 years of six children, her brothers and sisters were more like Mom and Dad to her. At 18, she left home and traveled to Japan as a new Air Force wife, and those adventures continued until settling down in Orlando at McCoy Air Force Base. Along the way she had a daughter, Gail, in Tachikawa, Japan and a son, Wade, in Charleston, South Carolina, who have always been her pride and joy.
If you thought of fashion in Orlando, you thought of Shirley. She had a style, flair, and personality that was unmatched. Known for her pearls, ornate earrings, and beautiful pin collection to match every outfit, she always looked like she just stepped out of Vogue magazine. She began modeling in 1965 doing print and runway work and became a sought-after talent for all the major stores. She was one of the first models hired by Disney when they opened and worked for LaBelle Furs, Jordan Marsh, and Lillie Rubin. She also taught classes for Lisa Maile Modeling School.
After being a staff model for Jacobson’s for years, she became their Fashion Director and Sales Promotion Director in 1984. She had finally found her home and shined in the role she was given. The Coeur de Coeur fashion event was a not to be missed production that showcased Shirley’s talent for all things beautiful. The Jacobson’s family was a close-knit group of very special people and Shirley was on top of the world. In 1985 she married Marv Smoot, who was her rock and soulmate. They shared a special love and were always there for each other. Through the coming years of cancer treatments and hospital stays, her Marv, family, and friends were there to see her through. She returned to work with her moto, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” and lived that in her everyday life.
Mom, Grandma, Grandma Flame, Shirley was loved dearly by everyone she touched and on her sickest days would always ask others how they were doing. She deeply loved her friends and family. Her husband, children, and grandchildren were her world and she was always ready for some “sugar” from her grandkids. With a great sense of humor, Shirley would always say, “I’m kicking. Not too high, but I’m kicking,” when you asked how she was. Heaven now has a dancing Angel in gold shoes. She is preceded in death by her husband, Marv Smoot. Survivors include her daughter, Gail (Steve) Birge; son, Wade (Marlene) Johnson, Jr.; grandchildren, Kristin (John) Zupancic; Wade (Jaclyn) Johnson III; Kendall Johnson; Blake Johnson; great grandson, Graham Johnson, and her dear friend and companion, Margaret Brown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are encouraged to the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
A viewing will be held Monday, May 10, 2021 at 10:00am at Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home West Altamonte Chapel, 90 Weathersfield Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32714 with a Funeral Service at 11:15am. A private committal service will follow at Highland Memory Gardens. Feel free to dress in something cheerful and fashionable in the spirit of Shirley.
Baldwin-Fairchild West Altamonte Chapel
Baldwin Fairchild West Altamonte Chapel
Final Resting Place
Highland Memory Gardens
Shirley D. Johnson
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May 2, 2021
Shirley got me in my first pair of high heels as I was signed up...along with Gail...in charm school that she was part of. We had fun and I think some of her lessons rubbed off on me eventually. She was a Grand and gracious Lady.. Godspeed Shirley...see you on the other side.