Mary Eleanor JOHNSON

April 25, 1950November 6, 2020

Mary Eleanor Johnson was born April 25, 1950 to the late Ms. Ina Mae Benford and Mr. Willie Watkins in Chattanooga, TN. She was the third of six children. She journeyed home on Friday, November 6, 2020 at Kindred Hospital in Chicago, IL

Mary received her education from Howard High School in Chattanooga and later studied the Art of Fashion in college. She worked as a tailor shortly after her studies for several years, and then continued her profession at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1974, in Patient Accounts for 30 years, until her first retirement in 2004. After her retirement, she found her calling and continued to give back by assisting those in need. Mary became an Emergency Foster Care Parent for children in December 2007, and finally retired in October 2018.

Throughout her journey, Mary confessed her faith and love to Jesus Christ while worshipping under Elder James Wilson Jr., and joyfully served in the Hospitality Ministry at Bethel Deliverance Center, Church of God in Christ, until the unfortunate declination in her health.

Mary was a loving person who loved life and all that it had to offer. Her infectious, hearty laugh and her huge beautiful grin were enough to make anyone laugh and smile with her. She was known for speaking her mind and was always optimistic about life in general. Mary loved to talk about her family and although residing in Chicago, it always felt as if she were living right next door to her family down south. Mary was a selfless, loving woman who would give her last to whomever needed it and gave with cheer and no expectations. She also loved gardening and everything related to fashion and decorating: from clothes; she often tailored her own clothes and home interior fabric.

Those she leaves to cherish her loving memories are her sister, Robin Hill; her brothers Frank Watson, and James Benford; her very special nephew, Nickey Hammond, all of Chattanooga; her very special niece raised as her daughter, Kareda Carmichael, Chicago, IL; other nieces include Antoinette Fields, Chicago, IL Felicia Foster, Denver, CO, Katherine Watkins, Chattanooga; nephews, Andres Foster, Frank Watkins Jr., Alexander Watkins, Chattanooga, and Willie Watlins, Jr., Atlanta, GA; special great niece and granddaughter, Azariah Lowery, Chicago, IL; great-nieces, Khardesha Williams and Carmellia Carmichael, Chicago, IL; her very special friend, Betty Spencer and a host of other family and friends.

May she find peace and eternal love with our Heavenly Father. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Chattanooga Memorial Park, 501 Memorial Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37415.

All covid mandates will be in place, such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

If you can’t attend the graveside service, you may view it live on our Facebook page at Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, Valley View Chapel

Arrangements are by the Valley View Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 7414 Old Lee Highway.

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  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020


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