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Gladys Hall Johnson was born on August 19, 1933. She was the youngest and only surviving of eleven children born to the late Henderson and Bessie Ball Hall.
Gladys joined the Zion Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Waverly Taylor, Sr. and was a faithful member for many years. She later moved her membership to the Potomac Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Raymond Bell. She remained a member under the leadership of Pastor Dwight Johnson. She was involved in the Missionary Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Sunday School, and the Senior Choir as a member of both churches.
Gladys attended the schools of Westmoreland County and graduated from the A. T. Johnson High School in June 1950. She moved to Pennsylvania where she resided for several years. When she moved back to Virginia, she found that there was still no suitable employment available. With the encouragement of Mrs. Sadie Roane, she enrolled in the Manpower Development Training Program (MDTA) Program. One of her assignments was to send job applications to one private company, one local government and to the federal government. She was hired as a clerk typist and was employed as a Library Aid in the Technical Library at the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, VA. A government program became available that allowed her to continue her education. She started taking community college classes at Southern Maryland Community College, Germanna Community College, and later at Rappahannock Community College. She worked her way up to Library Clerk, Card Punch Operator, Library Technician, Technical Information Specialist. Later, she enrolled in Mary Washington College. She worked all day and went to Mary Washington at night. When the Aegis Training Center posted a vacancy for a Head librarian’s position, she applied and was hired. She continued taking classes and graduated from Mary Washington College in 1992 with a degree in Business Management. She retired after 30 years of working in the Federal Government in January of 1995.
Gladys has been involved in several community organizations. She is a charter and life member of the Westmoreland County Rescue Squad and the Optimist Club of Westmoreland, Life member of the Westmoreland NAACP where she served as president for sixteen years, and a charter member of the A. T. Johnson Alumni Association. She has worked with the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. She was involved with the Westmoreland School system as a tutor, mentor and substitute teacher for many years.
Gladys was a people person. She had no problem letting people (even strangers) know when she felt they were doing a good job. She always took time to talk to the young people. She encouraged them to do the best they could with what they had. She would always ask them how they were doing in school. She got joy out of letting the young people know they looked nice in their clothing or letting the young ladies know that she liked their hairdo. She would tell them that they had to do what they could with what had, and to not just settle for anything. One of her favorite sayings was – “Try to catch someone doing something good rather than trying to catch someone doing something bad”.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Johnson, Sr.; two sons, Brian and Kenneth, daughter, Jacquelyn; grandson, Tyler; six brothers and four sisters.
Gladys leaves to cherish her memory 3 sons: Lawrence (Toni), Melvin (Shelley) and Marvin (Renee); one daughter, Sharon (Sam); daughter-in-law, Elise; a niece raised as her sister -- Elizabeth (John); nine grandsons; eight granddaughters; seventeen great-grandchildren; and a host of nephews, nieces and many other relatives and friends.
Gladys Hall Johnson of Westmoreland County, Virginia and beloved mother of Pastor Marvin and Melvin Johnson departed this life on Friday, September 15 at the Memorial Regional Hospital.
Home going Service Celebration will be held on Saturday, September 30 at 12 Noon in the auditorium of the Westmoreland High School,16762 Kings Highway, Montross, Virginia.
Interment will follow in the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, 1274 Zion Church Road, Kinsale, Virginia.
Viewing will be on Friday, September 29 from 5PM until 7PM in the chapel of the WELDON-FISHER FUNERAL HOME, and from 10AM until service time on Saturday, September 30 at Westmoreland High School.
****PLEASE NOTE, ALL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND REFLECTIONS WILL BE GIVEN FROM 1030AM until 1145AM on Saturday at the high school *****
Services will be live streamed via facebook live @weldonfisher by B&B Media LLC. (Mark Bunns)