Anita Louise Johnson

May 20, 1970June 5, 2018

Anita Louise Johnson, age 48, passed away peacefully June 5, 2018. She is survived by her parents, Cynthia Barker of Madison and Chandler Johnson of Philadelphia, and her brother Bruce Anthony Johnson, also of Philadelphia.

At a very young age Anita became disabled. Throughout her life she was confronted with countless challenges...and she faced each and every one of them with courage and a fierce determination to succeed. With the love and devotion of her mother, Anita was able to travel and enjoy many life experiences. Anita was a graduate of Guilford High School, and resided for many years in SARAH Residential Facilities in both Guilford and Branford. She was active in the Special Olympics for years, winning a number of gold and bronze medals for swimming and snowshoeing.

Anita had an infectious smile that could light up any room. She was always ready to entertain you with her latest jokes. She loved the color pink, listening to music...especially Michael Jackson, and watching movies.

Anita, quite simply, was amazing. Despite her limitations, she was able to overcome obstacles and setbacks in her life with such spirit and drive. She was happy, gentle and compassionate, and she always had a kind word for everyone. She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her. She will be greatly missed.

Swan Funeral Home in Old Saybrook is in charge of the arrangements. A private memorial service for Anita will be scheduled at a later date to celebrate her life.


Anita Louise Johnson

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Melissa Barker

June 27, 2018

Anita was such a JOYful soul, full of life, love, and kindness. Her memory lives on in the lives of those she has left behind. May we always remember to take life on as Anita did: with courage and kindness as our allies. We miss you and love you, Anita. Rest in power sweet angel. Sending love to your family and all those that were touched by your beautiful life <3

David Barker

June 12, 2018

Reading these wonderful tributes brought back so many happy memories of the times shared with Anita when she visited California. Her bright smile, funny jokes and pure joy for the moment are things that we’ll never forget. Heaven just received an angel. We love and will miss you Anita.

David and Vickie Barker and Family

Sonnetta Powell

June 11, 2018

To Ms. Cynthia and the family ,
My prayers are going up for you all in such a time as this. I use to work at 2 Totoket house and for the short time that I’ve been there Anita was my main girl ! As soon as i walked in i would start Anita Up with our greeting OH YEAH!!!!! And then start our conversation . It never failed she would crack up everytime , boy was she silly . I will always remember her sassiness , silliness and that contagious laugh of hers . Rest on My silly girl

Bruce Johnson

June 6, 2018

Live, Love, Laugh – These words embodied the spirit of Anita Louise Johnson. Whether singing along with Madonna or telling a knock - knock joke, Anita lifted the spirits of those around her to a rip, roaring laughter and silliness that was bound to get out of hand quickly – all in good fun!

You, Anita, made the world a better place. You will not be forgotten.

Bruce, Merixsa & Brooke'

Kari Esposito

June 6, 2018

Anita brought smiles to everyone she was around. Her soul was so sweet. We laughed and sang all the time and boogied to the beat!! Her laugh was contagious and I will always remember her when I hear Michael Jackson. Anita will br missed so much!! Rest In Peace sweet girl.

Alyssa Cohen

June 6, 2018

I got to know so much about you before I had the pleasure of meeting you through your lovely Mom and beloved family friend Sher. They spoke of you with wonder, admiration, and with so much love. I couldn’t wait until you were part of our family at Gladeview. You came in through those double doors in that hot pink chair and yelled to me, “HI!!! I’m so excited! I’ve got jokes you know!” And you proceeded to ask me if I knew how to make a tissue dance, and when I said “No! How?!” You responded with, “You gotta a little boogie in it!” 😆 I knew you were going to fit in with all of us silly’s at Gladeview! You were a ray of absolute sunshine. You were such a fun, smart and sensitive woman. You accomplished so much in your all too short life. I admired your perseverance and your love for everyone around you. The vision of you dancing with your mom and singing every word to “Brown Eyed Girl” at Prom will be a memory I will cherish forever ♥️ I am so glad that I met you. I know you are dancing to “Beat It” with Michael Jackson on a pink cloud in heaven. We will miss you terribly ♥️

Amanda Adanti

June 6, 2018

Anita was the highlight to everyone’s day! Her bright smile, her comedic laugh she picked up from friends. (Bwaa haha hahaha)Her knowledge of every popular pop song known to man. I got the pleasure of knowing her in such a short time and having what felt like years of love and friendship. She constantly asked how My baby was doing, and asked if she would be able to hold him when he arrived :) she loved her mom very much, who she talked about a lot, and all her friends. I’m deeply saddened to know she is no longer with us, but I know she will be rocking the heavens forevermore, and will always watch over everyone she loved. Sleep peacefully princess Anita ba-dita. - forever your friend. -Amanda

Michele Bourque

June 6, 2018

Anita was a blessing to all that were privileged to know her. She brought sunshine and smiles to everyone that was lucky enough to be near her. I am thankful that I got to know her for a short time. She has left a permanent mark on my heart. I hope you are dancing( to Michael Jackson of course! beat it!) and singing in heaven, sweet lady. We will miss you terribly 😥💗

Karen Craig

June 6, 2018

I only had the pleasure of knowing this sweet soul for a short time but she left her mark in my heart. When we first met she told me about being a Special Olympian and later showed me her medals. Every time I hear Michael Jackson I will think of you Anita. May you Rest In Peace❤️