Cover photo for Rose Ann Johnson's Obituary
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1920 Rose 2015

Rose Ann Johnson

February 10, 1920 — December 16, 2015

Mrs. Rose Ann Johnson of Nashville, formerly of Camden, passed away December 16, 2015, at her residence in Nashville. Mrs. Johnson was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, the youngest of five children of Theresa and Joe Catapano.Rose was a top student in her class, broad jump champion, and a voracious reader in the Wallingford Public library. "I loved the library. I loved reading and I could start a book and next thing I knew, I was involved with the characters and felt like I lost friends when the book ended."Like many young women during World War II, Rose also participated in the war effort. In addition to knitting socks, gloves, and scarves, she helped pack munitions. On Sundays, she went to the beachfront with her girlfriends and they diligently watched the skies for enemy planes.It was during the war that Rose met her husband of 41 years. Marching off the USO dance floor in Hartford after abandoning an overly flirtatious serviceman, Rose said her next dance was with a dashing young Navy signalman from Kentucky. That sailor, Robert C. (Bob) Johnson, and she married in January, 1946, after he returned from a tour of duty in the Philippines. Both Bob and Rose attended Berea College, where he graduated. After several years teaching high school English and, later, working in the insurance industry, Bob and Rose moved to Camden. There, both Rose and Bob worked in the Johnson Insurance and Real Estate Company until purchasing The Camden Chronicle from Miss Sally Bradley. Rose was the Vice-Publisher of the Chronicle and, for more than 20 years, wrote articles for the women's and society page; she was also the business manager. For several years, Rose was the editor of The Carroll County Democrat, which Bob and Rose bought from William McConnell in Huntington.In addition to her full-time career in the newspaper, Rose found time to belong to several bridge and canasta clubs. Often placing high at the bridge table, Rose would return home to recite every card played during the evening, from the first deal to the game's end. Rose's many interests were broad and varied: She was a member of the Camden Garden Club and, more than once, she won Blue Ribbons from the Tennessee State Fair; her African Violets were sold at the Garden Club’s annual sale and her front yard often won yard-of-the-month. Rose was an officer in the Reelfoot Girl Scouts Council, a member of the First United Methodist Church in Camden, studied oil painting with Miss Mattie Robinson in Camden, and frequently enjoyed nine holes of golf with friends at the Magic Valley Country Club. She was often called from the Benton County Library when new books arrived so she could get them first - it was a special opportunity given to her because - no matter the length - Rose would read and return the book within 72 hours.She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert C. Johnson; two brothers, Arthur Catapano, Benjamin Catapano; and two sisters, Mary DeVito and Philomena Guandalini.Rose is survived by her son, Bo (Fifi) Johnson of Nashville, TN; her daughter, Pat Lasher (Richard) Jacobs of Baltimore, MD; her grandchildren, Dr. Andrew (Melissa) Lasher, of Nashville, Kit (Matt) Ballenger of Chevy Chase, MD, Will (Dr. Madison) Johnson of Nashville, and Robby Johnson of Austin, TX; and her great-grandchildren, Joshua Ballenger, Charlie Ballenger, Abe Lasher, Sydney Lasher, and Rae Lasher.Graveside services will be held on Friday, December 18, 2015, at Noon at the Camden City Cemetery with Rev. Dean Emerson officiating.In lieu of flowers, tribute donations may be made to Berea College, CPO 2216, Berea, KY 40404 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148, (Tribute #: 39465997).
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