Brown-Wynne Funeral Home

1701 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC


Phyllis Hoerr Johnson

July 13, 1930March 16, 2020

Phyllis Jean Hoerr Johnson passed away on March 16, 2020.

Phyllis, the fifth daughter of Sophie and Philipp Jacob Hoerr, was born on July 13, 1930, in Peoria, Illinois. She was delivered into this world by her father when the doctor was unable to make it to the house on time. She was named after her father with the assumption she was her parents’ last child, but five years later her dear brother Max was born.

Phyllis attended Woodruff High School in Peoria IL and then received a BS in Journalism from University of Illinois. Her first job was editor of the weekly employee publication of Central Illinois Light Company in Peoria. While working there she met her future husband, Elmer Johnson. Phyllis and Elmer were married in Peoria on March 24, 1955-- the anniversary date of both Phyllis’ parents and her grandparents.

Phyllis and Elmer moved to Pittsburgh PA in 1957, and in 1962 the family moved to St. Louis MO. In 1967 the family moved to Raleigh, where they continued to reside for fifty-three years.

When her children were in middle school and high school, Phyllis began working at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as the church secretary. From 1978-1990 she worked at Olson Management Group, an association management company. She became Publications Director and Editor, responsible for the journals and other publications of 22 international, national, regional, and state associations. Phyllis was the primary writer or editor for a number of those publications. She was especially proud of originating the newsletter of the American Society of Echocardiography which grew into the journal Echocardiography.

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church was an integral part of Phyllis’ life and she was a dedicated member for over 50 years. She was President of Pullen Mission Women, American Baptist Churches Committee, and several other committees. Her work at Pullen also led to such positions as the Communications Chair of both the Raleigh/Wake County and North Carolina units of Church Women United, and she was named Valiant Woman of that organization. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Wake County YWCA and served as secretary. She was a member of the PEO sisterhood.

She is survived by her husband of 65 years Elmer M. Johnson; her children Nathan Johnson (Retno), Jakarta, Indonesia; Kenneth Johnson (Jo Joyce), Wallburg NC; and Ann Johnson (Bob Stewart), Arlington VA; her grandchildren Hanah Johnson (Zani Doumbia), Cambridge MA; Aaron Johnson, Chicago IL; Jakob Johnson, Wallburg NC; and Nellie Stewart, Arlington VA; her sister Shirley Gorenz and brother Max Hoerr both of Peoria IL and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sisters Geraldine (Clarence) Peters, Morton IL; Bernice (Carl) Stahl, Mt. Pulaski IL, and Marjorie (Wade) Fehr, Peoria

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Pullen Memorial Baptist Church designated for Pullen Mission Women.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Phyllis Hoerr Johnson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carla Kopec

March 21, 2020

Aunt Phyllis will always be one of my all time favorite people . Not only was she very smart & articulate, but also very caring and humorous. Following are 2 memories.
There were 16 of us on a multi-generational family trip to Hilton Head about 3 decades ago. Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Elmer drove from Raleigh to visit with us for a few days. Their car was packed with fresh produce (corn on the cob, tomatoes etc), southern style ham, biscuits & everything else for a feast she prepared . Uncle Elmer was the car packer , delivery guy & sous chef for her. We were blown away not only by how delicious it all was but how thoughtful & ambitious . This was their get-away too! Aunt Phyllis knew how to make people feel special.
Our family was together for my mom’s 90th birthday. After we ate my mom read the Hoerr/Max family history that Aunt Phyllis researched & wrote for all of us. It was so insightful and so humorous...so Aunt Phyllis. Again, she provided us with a great family memory.
Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Elmer are in the top 1% of human kind.
My sincere condolences to all of you.

Bob Hoerr

March 20, 2020

What a wonderful aunt. Always happy and full of joy. So many blessed memories. My prayers are with Uncle Elmer, Nathan, Kenneth, Ann and their families. She was loved will be greatly missed.

Hilda A Highfill

March 18, 2020

Dear Family of Phyllis Johnson:
I have lost a dear, longtime friend at this time of Phyllis's
passing. We shared many visits, family times, church endeavors,
bridge at the beach, rearing our boys and more through many years! We had fun! Phyllis was a warm friend and I cherish those memories. It is friends like Phyllis who make life's journey memorable. Elmer and family, I am grateful for having shared these times with Phyllis.
Hilda A Highfill