Helen Johnson, Kingstree

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014

Helen Johnson, Kingstree - Mother Helen McClam Johnson, 80, died Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Carolinas Hospital System of Florence.

Funeral services, conducted by Bishop Amos Major, were held Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the No. 1 Holiness Church of Lake City. Burial, directed by Redmond-Richardson Funeral Home, followed at White Oak Cemetery of Lake City.

Mother Johnson was born November 10, 1933, in Olanta, the daughter of the late Vance and Eliza Durant McClam. Short in stature but mighty in battle, she has been a fighting force, standing up for the rights of others for over 60 years. When Martin Luther King, Jr. rallied in Kingstree in 1966, she was there. She stood on the grounds of the old Tomlinson High School along with other freedom fighters in order to make a difference. She traveled to Columbia in the late 60s to participate in civil rights rallies along with many other notable Kingstree natives. She was married to the late Charlie Johnson, Sr. She was a member of the NAACP. She moved to New Jersey, and she was hired by Preakness Hospital as a nurse's aide. Because of her hard work ethic and dedication to the patients, she was promoted and began to work with psychiatric patients. She was a psychiatric aide for 23 years. Needing a change, she enrolled in Laidlaw Bus Company and learned to drive commercial buses. After completing training, she was hired by Passaic County as a bus driver. She later began working for New Jersey Transit Authority and drove buses for six-and-a-half-years. She returned to South Carolina, and Williamsburg County Transit Authority employed her for 12 years. She retired June 1, 2009, but continued in the transportation business. At the tender age of 77, she became owner and operator of Angels Transportation, proclaiming, "Come ride with me, I'll take you there." Additionally, she was a gifted quilter and has quilts on display at the New York City Fire Department in memory of the 911 victims. Her work is also on display at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. News of her great works has been printed in the local Kingstree newspaper and she has been recognized by the New York City Fire Department. She was a member of the House of God No. 1 Holiness Church, where she served on the Mother's Board and a General Mother of the House of God which is the Church of the Living God, Inc. Four children, Tommy Johnson, Vernita Johnson Moultrie, Michelle Johnson Mincey and Keith Johnson, preceded her in death.

Survivors are: two sons, Clarence "Ray" Raymond Johnson and Charlie "Bobby" Johnson, Jr., both of the home; three daughters, Lenora Johnson-Dorf of Huntsville, Alabama; and Charlene J. Fulton (Fred) and Deborah Reid, both of Kingstree; one sister, Mary Etta McClary of Kingstree; a niece as her own, Mary Frances McClary of Astoria, New York; two sons-in-law, Benl Mincey of the home; and John Moultrie of Wayne, New Jersey; 15 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.

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