Cover photo for Willodean Johnson's Obituary
Willodean Johnson Profile Photo
1930 Willodean 2011

Willodean Johnson

August 14, 1930 — October 31, 2011


Willodean Johnson passed away on October 31, at home and at peace. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO; reception to follow service.

Born to Walter and Frances Packwood in 1930, Willodean spent her childhood in Kansas City and Oklahoma City, graduating from Classen High School. She attended Newcomb College in New Orleans and then KCU where she met her husband, Norman Schwartz. They married in 1951. While Norm attended dental school, Willie worked as an artist at Russell Stover Candies.

She was an active volunteer at schools and church and with the Greater Kansas City Dental Auxiliary, UMKC Faculty Wives and the UMKC Women's Club. She happily contributed her calligraphy talents to many organizations.

After Norman's death in 1978, Willodean took a job at the Tradewinds Art Gallery and she began to travel internationally. One highlight for her was being part of the first Edgar Snow delegation to China in 1979. Intelligent and creative, she pursued art, bird watching and DIY projects. She served as the president of the UMKC Alumni Association, was active on the board of the Nettleton Home and held leadership positions at Central United Methodist Church.

Willie was fortunate to find love a second time and married Ronald Johnson in 2000. They traveled abroad, attended concerts and plays, and enjoyed the blessings of their large blended family. As Willie's health failed, Ron made it possible for her to remain at home. Ron died in January 2011.

Willodean leaves her daughters Anne Premont, Linda Litzinger and Laurie Corrick and their husbands and children. She also leaves her stepfamily including Patti Stokes, Connie Boysan, Teri Renner, Eric Johnson, Michael Johnson and Jessica Johnson and their spouses and children and also leaves her Kansas City niece and nephew, Stephanie and Clayton Gray. She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband Norman Schwartz, second husband Ronald Johnson and her sisters Carole Gray and Ruth Biggerstaff.

Memorial gifts may be directed to the UMKC Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, UMKC Foundation, 5100 Rockhill Road, AC 229, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

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