Mrs. Merrian Rose (White) Johnson
April 11, 1933 – February 11, 2021
Merrian Rose White Johnson was the youngest daughter of eight siblings born on April 11, 1933 to John and Emma Smith White in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Affectionately named “Honey Doll” by siblings for her big beautiful brown eyes and doll like features, Honey Doll would grow up and complete her education in the Johnston County Schools in Smithfield where she excelled in academics and played basketball; a legacy which would later be realized. After graduating with her 1952 senior class of the Johnston County Training School, Merrian began college at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina and would later head to New York City seeking a new chapter in her young vibrant life.
In 1955, Honey Doll met the love of her lifetime in New York City, Merrion Johnson, a chance meeting designed by God. They would instantly bond over the similarity of their names and from that day forward never part. On December 17, 1960 Merrion and Merrian shared nuptials and relocated to Yonkers, New York to begin their journey together. To this union two daughters were born: Debra Anne Johnson and Audrey Jean Johnson. After working in housekeeping and inspired by the birth of her two beautiful daughters Honey Doll decided to expand her opportunities by attending the Medical Aid Training School where she would earn a license in Pediatric & Geriatric Care.
However, within the 13 years of living in Yonkers Honey Doll would face a two-year bout with breast cancer. An experience that would demonstrate to family and friends her strong faith in God and abominable will to live. Merrian and her family would migrate to Tucson, Arizona for a climate more conducive to improving health, and it did. Merrian Johnson would live out the rest of her years Breast Cancer Free! While in Tucson, Honey Doll immediately put her Medical Aid license to good use for many years before making her most impressive career endeavor into the field of finance. Merrian Johnson would go on to excel in banking ultimately retiring after 25 years of service in management and sales.
Upon retirement Honey Doll and her husband, Merrion, decided to move to Houston, Texas so they could be closer to their two daughters and three granddaughters. They would attend countless extra-curricular school activities, AAU basketball games, school pickups/drop offs, and assist with after school homework. The lasting effect that this would have on their three granddaughters; Jamila, Stefanie, and Briana will never be forgotten, and they are forever grateful for this time with Honey Doll; whom they lovingly call “Granny”.
While in Houston Merrian created many friendships and made herself a church home at McGee Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, led by Pastor Walter K. Berry. Merrian would be baptized again recommitting herself to Christ and joining the Day Star senior’s group. She would go on to host fundraisers like the “Soul to Sole” which was the infamous Senior Prom for the congregation’s seniors. She loved attending services each Sunday and participating in church events and programs. More than that Merrian truly enjoyed visiting with other church members after services and giving back wherever and whenever she could.
Honey Doll leaves a legacy of strength, courage, and service as a loving mother to her children and so many others she has touched over the years. She truly believed “It Takes a Village” and stepped in when someone needed a shoulder, an ear to listen, an extra watchful eye or a heart to understand. She was a caring wife, grandmother, sister, auntie, friend and advocate. Her toughness and confidence always influenced her to be authentic and tell it like it is!
Merrian departed this life on Thursday, February 11, 2021. She is survived by two daughters: Debra A. Johnson of Katy, Texas and Audrey J. Gilbreath and her husband, Wardell, of Katy, Texas; two sisters: Helese White of Springfield, Massachusetts and Vivian White Sullivan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; three granddaughters: Jamila T. Brown and her fiancé Andre Farr, Stefanie R. Gilbreath, and Briana G. Butler and her husband Brice C. Butler; great-grandson Braiden C. Butler; nieces: Maxine Hunter, Pamela White, Patricia Morrison and Robin Johnson; nephews: Michael White, John “Johnny Cake” White IV, Kenneth Craig, Lloyd Johnson, Scott Johnson, Billy Johnson, Eugene Johnson and Darryl Johnson: numerous great-nieces, great nephews, cousins and other relatives; and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Merrion Johnson, parents, John and Emma White Jr., three brothers, Douglas Smith, William J. White and John A. White III., two sisters, Katrina White and Annie T. Thomas.
Funeral Service - By Invitation Only
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Carl Barnes Funeral Home
Committal Service- By Invtation Only
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery
Mrs. Merrian Rose (White) Johnson
February 25, 2021
Wishing the family comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
I will miss our long talks and laughter around the round table!