Barbara Lee Johnson

October 3, 1925August 18, 2013

Barbara Lee Johnson, for the past two years a resident of Austin, Texas, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 18, 2013, at the age of 87.

Born October 3, 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois, Barbara led a life of joyful, selfless service to God, and loving devotion to family and friends. Daughter of T. Walter and Kathryn E. (ne. Tenney) Boydston, Barbara was raised in Glen Ellen and Oak Park, Illinois, and spent her childhood summers creating beloved memories at the family ranch in Grover, Colorado. After graduating in 1947 from De Pauw University, she taught in one-room schools in the Niles, Michigan area until her marriage, in 1949, to John W. Gillette. Barbara and John were blessed with three children, Kathryn Ruth (Wisdom), John Todd, and Robert Boydston.

Answering a call to ministry, Barbara was ordained in 1966; she subsequently moved to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where she met Harry Johnson; the two were married in 1969. In 1972, Barbara and Harry became co-founders of Kingsway Missionary Institute, a school dedicated to the teaching and equipping of missionaries bound for Mexico and Latin America. She served the Institute through 1989 as a board member, administrator, and teacher, and was, with Harry until his death in 1985, dedicated to related field ministry and aid work.

In 1990, Barbara moved to Apache Junction, Arizona, where she resumed a life-long passion for oil painting. Her talents made possible a fulfilling vocation as an art teacher and, combined with her love of western landscapes, yielded a large body of beautiful southwestern art treasured by her family today.

Barbara is survived by her three children, Kathy, Todd, and Rob and his wife Debbie; ten grandchildren, Rachel (Darin) Roberts, Cole Wisdom, Jake Wisdom, John Gillette, Stuart Gillette, Lauren Gillette, Jordan Gillette, Trevor Gillette, Tanner Gillette, and Baylee Gillette; and two great-grandchildren, Jackson Roberts and Kennedy Roberts.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Johnson, and by her two brothers, Robert Boydston of Sedona, Arizona, and Donald Boydston of Orlando, Florida.

Beloved by all who knew her grace and spirit, she will be greatly missed.

No services planned at this time.


Barbara Lee Johnson

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Carol Marin

October 3, 2013

As a Kingsway graduate and a new missionary here in Oaxaca, Mexico, I always anticipated her visits and words of encouragement. She was a woman of great worth, full of love and full of the Word of God, and always looking for a way to bless those around her. She was definitely a woman who lived life to the fullest! Enjoy your dance on the streets of gold, Barbara!

Glenda Atcheson

October 3, 2013

So sorry to hear of Barbara's passing. I had lost touch with her after she left the valley. I so enjoyed many great times with Barbara over the years and I am thankful for the influence and input she had on my life. Her sweet spirit and friendship was a blessing to my life. She will be missed on this earth, but never forgotten. See you soon, Barbara! Thanks for the blessing you were to so many lives. Praying for all the family!!

Libby Gontarz

September 9, 2013

I will always be grateful that Barbara was a part of my life. I knew her through Women's AGLOW. She ministered to me, prayed for me, and encouraged me throughout the time I knew her. I treasure a beautiful still life she gave me when my husband and I were helping her get ready to move back to Texas. What a blessing to know that we will meet again when I get to go home, too. I pray for comfort and blessings on her family.

Margie Hadsell

September 6, 2013

Barbara was my godmother. She was a dear friend of the family, and her spiritual presence in my life has never been forgotten. So sorry for your loss. I know she will be missed by so many. Margie Hadsell.

Sandra Dearmin

September 5, 2013

Barbara was my dearest friend for over 30 years. We traveled, prayed, ministered, painted, cried, and laughed together! Our friendship is knitted together into eternity. Her passing leaves my heart sad for the longing of her suspended fellowship, but at the same time rejoicing for her on her promotion to Heaven!