Our amazing mother, Kathryn E. Johnson (nee Finnerty) died at the age of 94 on June 5 at St. Mary’s Villa Skilled Nursing facility, where she was a resident for several years. She was born on September 10, 1922, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. A life-long Catholic and firm believer in heaven, she has been reunited with her parents, Steve and Loretta Finnerty, her husband, Johnny, her brothers Frank, Bud, and Harry, and her beloved son, Larry. She will be greatly missed by her children, Michael Johnson (Kathy), Dennis Johnson, Mary An Scarbrough, Shawn Johnson (Maria), and Erin Saddic (Mark); as well as her six grandchildren, Meghan, Kaitlin, Emily, Ari, Owen, and Drew; and her two great-grandchildren Harper and Jameson.
Mom lived a long life, and she had many adventures that she loved to talk about. After graduating from Technical High School in 1940, she left home to work for the Civil Service department of the federal government in Washington, D.C., during W.W. II. There she met and married her dashing sailor, our dad, Myron “Johnny” Johnson. In later years, her strength was remarkable as she dealt with her young son’s illness and took care of her other children, all in the absence of her husband who needed to travel for his career in the navy. Even after she was widowed, Kathryn continued to be there for her aging parents and her children. She was a pillar of strength and independence to everyone around her. She faced her own illness with unshakeable stubbornness and a resolve to survive. We saw her fight back from the brink many times, and she faced death on her own terms right until the end.
Mom loved attending Mass, acting as a Eucharist Minister, visiting with her family, walking, shopping, reading a good book, and watching Judge Judy. She believed in the infallibility of the Church, her personal independence, tough love, a crisply ironed shirt, a great cup of coffee, and a well-done burger. Anyone who knew Kathryn ended up telling her their life’s story; she was that good of a listener. Our mom was one heck of a woman, and we loved her.
We want to sincerely thank the staff of St. Mary’s Villa, particularly Donna, Kim, and Barb, for all of the professionalism, humor, and compassion that they brought to our mom’s life. We could never imagine better care than what our mom received there and the support they gave us at the end.
As per her wishes, there will be no viewing, but her life will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, June 9, at Immaculate Conception Church 801 Taylor Ave. Scranton at 9:30 a.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to and are under the care and direction of the Vanston and James Funeral Home, Scranton.
To share a memory or to leave your condolences for the family please visit the funeral home’s website.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Friends of the Poor, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509 or on their website http://friendsofthepoorscranton.org/how-to-help/donations.html