“HOWDY!” the brass plaque on the rockers welcomes everyone to sit and rock a spell. Ed Johnson and his sister Jean Davis recently donated two rockers in memory of their mother, Sally Johnson, for Shepherd of the Valley-Niles’ “front porch”. They said the chairs needed to say “Howdy” because it reflected their mother’s spirit.
“Mom greeted everyone with a ‘howdy’,” son Ed shared. He and Jean explained that the gift was commensurate with their mother’s philosophy, which they wanted to memorialize. “She was a giving person who came from a generation where you sat on the porch and visited with family and neighbors.”
Thanks to their donation, residents and staff can remember this remarkable, kind, and generous woman while they sit and rock a spell.
Sally Johnson always said she attributed her long life and good health to hard work. Mrs. Johnson experienced a great deal in nearly 103 years; the horrific flu pandemic of 1918, WWI, women gaining the right to vote, the invention of the automobile, the Great Depression, “talkies”, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, television, men on the moon, and the Internet, all while raising 16 children…eight her husband brought into the marriage, two of her own, and six they had together!
Besides raising this large family, during WWII Sally, her daughter Helen, and several neighbors traveled to Abington, VA, six days a week to load military shells for the Navy. She remembered receiving Gas Ration stamps since she worked for the war effort. “We gave them to Blanche Miller to keep gasoline in the car so we could make the trip to our job,” she related.
At the age of 43, she and her family moved to Ohio. Sally worked in several occupations including a press operator in a local laundry and as “house mom” at her son-in-law Ray’s rooming house in Warren.
“She lived on her own until she was 97,” Ed shared with a smile. “So many people have their kids telling them ‘it’s time to move’ and it’s a hard sell. Mom made the decision to move to a senior apartment on her own. From there she moved to assisted living and then to Amaryllis Avenue in the nursing center at Shepherd Niles.”
“She loved the staff and enjoyed living at Shepherd,” Jean added. “We enjoyed everything at Shepherd.”
For more information, contact Rick Mattix, Associate Director, at 330-544-0771, x2802, or via email at RMattix@ShepherdoftheValley.com.