Barbara Joan Johnson
January 18, 1956 – June 29, 2020
Barbara Joan Johnson -
A passionate, tireless advocate for Baltimore City charity work through Head Start, Barbara Joan Johnson (born January 18th, 1956) passed away quietly and peacefully on June 29th, 2020 in Westminster, MD. While she never had any children of her own, she lived her life mentoring and assisting hundreds of children in Baltimore to become the best version of themselves; and to this day, she still had her students come back to see her and reach out to her just to say hi. She had one of the kindest hearts you would ever find, always willing and ready to look on the bright side of life. This was evident to anyone who met her, and it was often said that her positivity would light up any room she entered.
She leaves behind an amazing father, William E Johnson, and her treasured sister Pattie Johnson. In addition to the many children's lives she was able to touch throughout Baltimore, there were none more important to her than her two nephews, Wil and Nick Barnett. She referred to them as her "Love Bugs," and she made it a point to be a second mother to them, always present for birthdays, holidays, Sunday dinners, or even just to be someone to talk with about life's trials and tribulations. More recently, she was thrilled to get to know Wil's beautiful fiancé Emily Kirshenbaum, whom he will wed this fall.
A wild child of the 60's/70's, she loved the music of that era, especially James Taylor. She had a few friends that were the light of her life, including Rhonda Delaremore, Zareena Smith, and ex-husband Jeffrey Bernstein. She loved growing up in Brooklyn Park with her cousins Rob, Steve and Jeff Hackney, as well as all her wonderful cousins on the Johnson/Allbritton/Mazza side of the family.
She will be missed dearly by everyone who knew her, but we can all take solace knowing she's in Heaven now with her beloved mother, Joan Johnson. They were two peas in a pod their entire lives, and now they are back together again as one.
Barbara was never one to seek out attention or adulation from anyone, so in honor of that, we the family request that in lieu of flowers you please send donations to the Church of the Redemption at 1401 Towson St., Locust Point, MD 21230. That is where the Johnson family originated, and it has a special place in all our hearts.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Barbara Joan Johnson
July 9, 2020
Several of my colleagues at Villa Maria have identified the virtues of Barbara as bubbly, caring, engaging and family-focused. I couldn't agree more. What I remember about Barbara is that she was SO smart -- smart in the best way. She taught me almost everything I know about kids and families. When you think about it, that covers an awful lot about our world. She was extremely curious about people, and that made her a magnet to almost anybody she encountered. Her face would light up when she talked to even the most angry 12-year-old, or the distraught mom, or the dad with poor boundaries. It wouldn't be long before they talked about Miss Barb like she was part of the family. I am very appreciative of knowing Barbara Johnson and getting to work alongside her.
July 8, 2020
I worked with Barbara when I first came to Catholic Charities and we opened up a new school. She was always bubbly, happy, funny, kind, giving, caring, etc, etc. I continued to see her through the years in other programs, and it was always a pleasure. I will never forget her and her wonderful smile and laugh.
July 7, 2020
Several of my friends and colleagues from the Villa Maria Continuum and Catholic Charities have written eloquently about what an extraordinary blessing Barbara was to our agency and how much she meant to all of us who were fortunate enough to know her. She was a consummate clinician, a tireless advocate for the families we served and one of the most loving and caring people I've ever known. Barbara put her whole heart and soul into her work. She knew that she had a special gift for relating to people, for helping them to feel safe and for guiding them through difficult times. She shared her gift so generously with the children and families she counseled and also with her friends and coworkers.
I think the only thing that brought Barbara more joy and satisfaction than helping people in need was spending time with her family. She loved her family unabashedly! All of us who worked with Barb knew the members of her family either personally or vicariously. Her face would light up whenever she regaled us with exploits of her family particularly her nephews; Will and Nick!
Barbara was one of those people who knew how important it was to cherish the people she loved and she role-modeled that for all of us. She also knew (and helped to teach many of the children she cared for) that relationships are resilient and that they can endure through hardship, through separation and even through death.
All of us who knew Barbara have been changed for the better and we will continue to be enriched by our relationship with her.
July 6, 2020
I was very saddened to hear of the loss of Barbara. I worked with her for many, many years at Catholic Charities, first when I was the director of Psychology and when she was co-director for the residential/school programs. When I became the administrator for our behavioral health services, Barbara transitioned to that department, working as an early childhood therapist with the Catholic Charities Head Start program and then in one of our outpatient behavioral health clinics. She was working there when she became unable to work any longer.
Barbara was a consummate, highly-trained clinician with amazing intuition, skill, compassion, caring, and respect for all families. She had an incredible ability to help bring out the best in the children and families with whom she worked. She was very passionate about her work in Head Start and pioneered high quality therapy and parenting programs.
I will always remember her infectious laughter, smile, wonderful sense of humor, and intolerance for the burdens of paper-work and bureaucracy when it interfered with obtaining what was best for her families. She touched many, many lives and her legacy will be remembered. I was fortunate that the paths of our lives crossed.
July 3, 2020
Barbara Johnson was a loving, gracious, and an amazing human being! She was a consummate clinician! To bear witness to Barbara’s incredible ability to work with others was to witness love, grace, compassion, dignity, and excellence in action. Barb had such a gracious presence as well as the innate ability to illuminate the room with her infectious presence, which effortlessly drew everyone to her.
I had the privilege and blessing of meeting Barbara and working with her over 30 years ago at Catholic Charities. Barb was a beacon of light that helped to touch, inspire, and transform the lives of not only the persons that she lovingly, proficiently, and graciously served, but did the aforementioned for those with whom she worked, mentored, and befriended along her journey.
The world is a better place and many lives are forever transformed and healed because Barbara helped to make an ineffaceable impression upon everyone whom she touched. Even today, she continues to do so. May her legacy of love, hope, grace, and inspiration continue to live within each of us today and always! I am both grateful and blessed to have known her and called her friend.
Barbara will be missed and forever loved.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Blessings of Love and Peace,
Reverend Kevin Mason
July 3, 2020
I will miss you very much. Growing up I always adored you and, even today, will always know that you were one of the most beautiful people I will ever know. You will live on through our memories always and forever!
July 3, 2020
Barbara and I worked together at Villa Maria for nearly a decade. She was an amazing social worker, therapist and advocate for children. Her life was truly dedicated to helping others and she was highly respected for her knowledge and commitment. She was a genuinely good person.
I am so sorry to hear of her passing. Barbara's life had tremendous meaning and she helped countless children and families. Such a beautiful legacy.
I'm grateful for having known her.