Longtime funeral home owner laid to rest

Longtime funeral home owner laid to rest
February 22
03:00 2018

On Wednesday, Feb. 7, Ella Tyson Johnson died following a period of illness.  She was laid to rest on Monday, Feb. 12 at Evergreen cemetery. She owned Johnson’s Home of Memory, which has been an established business in Winston-Salem since the 1960s. 

Johnson and her late husband, James A. Johnson, ran Johnson’s House of Memory since 1960.  The business was initially named Johnson Funeral Home and was previously located at 1025 E. 14th St. but moved to its current location of 727 Waughtown St. in 1977.

“I always called her the nicest person on the planet because she never met a stranger and was nice to everyone no matter how they treated her,” said Monte, Johnson’s son.  “She was my best friend and her friends said whenever you saw her she had a smile on her face.”

Johnson was born in Rocky Mount, N.C. on April 16, 1938.  In 1956 she enrolled at Winston-Salem Teachers College (now Winston-Salem State University), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1960.

Following her marriage to James, she relocated to Winston-Salem, where she joined Hanes C.M.E. Church.  In subsequent years she joined Shiloh Baptist Church and later United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church.  She also worked briefly at Brown Elementary School.

Johnson was known for having a very compassionate heart.  She routinely visited the families that lost a loved one before and after the service to offer words of sympathy and comfort.  She received great joy in giving each family a personal gift of a ceramic angel, hand made by her, in remembrance of their loved one.

“I will miss her talks, her smile and just her being around,” said Angie Love, a family friend.  “She was pretty much the rock and she was a wonderful lady and was really an angel. She was the one that kept people grounded.”

After her husband passed in 1993, Johnson carried on the business until July 2012, at which time her son Monte took over the day-to-day business operations. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, James, of 30 years; her daughter, Tysonia Johnson; two sisters, Fannie and Barbara Tyson Fox; five brothers, John R. Roosevelt, James, William Jr. and Willie Tyson.

Mrs. Johnson is survived by son Monte; a grandson, Mason T. Johnson; sister, Gloria Tyson Robinson; brothers, Stanford and Leon Tyson; many nieces and nephews and several extended family members and friends.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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