Geraldine Johnson – 1942-2021

Geraldine Johnson – 1942-2021

Geraldine Ann Edwards-Johnson, passed away in Little Rock, Ark., on May 9, 2021. Mrs. Johnson was born on January 13, 1942, in Little Rock, Ark., to Willie James Edwards, Sr. and Annie Mae Smith-Edwards. In May of 1963, Mrs. Johnson graduated with the financial assistance of her husband, Columbus Johnson, from Philander Smith College with a degree in
Elementary Education. It was also in 1963 that Mrs. Johnson began her teaching career at Stephens Elementary School in Little Rock, Ark. Mrs. Johnson then returned to teach at her childhood school, Carver Elementary, where she taught 6th grade.

After approximately 17 years, Mrs. Johnson transferred to Pulaski Heights Middle School where she became the 6th-7th Grade English Chairperson and served throughout the following years on superintendent appointed committees. In the early 1990’s, when elementary school counselors were approved to be placed in elementary schools, Mrs. Johnson chose to attain an additional Master’s Degree in Kindergarten-12th Grade School Counseling. Mrs. Johnson first worked as a Counselor at McDermott Elementary School, and then was called upon to establish the first Counseling Program at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Magnet School.

After the birth of her grandchild, Mrs. Johnson graciously retired from teaching and later attained a Lifetime Teaching License from the Arkansas Department of Education in the areas of Elementary Education in 1st through 6th grades and Guidance Counseling in Kindergarten-12th grade. It was not too long after retirement that Mrs. Johnson attained Montessori Certification and developed as well as began teaching a curriculum infused with Principles of the Montessori Method and Early Childhood Education while in business with her daughter, Carla Johnson, at Johnson’s Montessori School. Mrs. Johnson was a Life Member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and a dedicated member of the Beta Pi Omega Chapter in Little Rock, Ark.

Mrs. Geraldine Edwards-Johnson is preceded in death by her father, Willie James Edwards, Sr., mother, Annie Mae Smith-Edwards, a daughter, Dorothy Johnson, a sister, Carolyn Edwards of Dallas, Texas, and a niece, Jennifer Lee Edwards of St. Louis, Mo. She leaves to cherish precious
memories of her: a devoted husband, Columbus L. Johnson; two supportive daughters, Carla Johnson and Carmen Hardin (Anwar); and a loving granddaughter, Amaya Hardin; two loving sisters, Gladys Mosby (Roy) of Leesville, La., and Eugenia Jackson of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; and cherished brothers and sisters-in-law, Willie James Edwards, Jr. (Ruby) of Little Rock, Ark., Terry Lee Edwards (Jewel) of Maumelle, Ark., and Erma Washington of Little Rock, Ark; and, a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, loving relatives and devoted friends.

Family Hour will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home. Masks required and social spacing observed. A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 12 Noon, at Pilgrim Valley Baptist Church. The service will be live-streamed on the Ruffin & Jarrett Facebook page. Requirements for social distancing, limited seating, and masking remain in place. In lieu of flowers, please make an honorary donation to the Friends of Johnson’s Montessori School in affiliation with the G. Johnson Early Childhood Education Initiative at Malvern National Bank, 1818 N. Taylor Street, Little Rock, Ark.

6 thoughts on “Geraldine Johnson – 1942-2021”

  • Columbus, Carla, Carmen and Family,

    I am so heartbroken over the loss of your precious wife/mom. We taught together at Pulaski Heights Elementary together beginning in 1984. We became fast friends and Gerry taught me so much about teaching which at the time I had only taught 6 years. We went our separate ways when Gerry became a school counselor at Martin Luther King Elementary. There was a literacy position opening and I applied. Gerry campaigned for me and I received the position. From then on, our friendship grew stronger and we became family. We laughed, cried, confided on so many professional and personal things in our lives. Gerry, thank you for believing in me and for always being there for me. I will remember the good times we had and I will cherish them forever. I love you and we will see each other again.

    Debbie Finkbeiner

  • Our prayers are with you as you celebrate her remarkable life. It was such a privilege for me to have worked with your wife and mother.. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

  • Mrs. Johnson was my counselor at McDermott Elementary. I will always remember her sweet smile and big hugs as she supported my brothers and I through the grieving process when we lost my father at such a young age. She definitely made an impact on the lives of so many children and contributed to my decision to become a school counselor as well. You will be missed.

  • We are praying and mourning with the family and kindred of Mrs. Johnson. Her indelible love for children will be forever cherished

    -Ryan D. Davis

  • Mrs. Johnson was a dear friend. I worked with her at Martin Luther King Magnet. She was always supportive of all children and educators. I saw her Counselor program first hand when she came to my classroom to share a vital lesson with my students. One day she came into my room turned the lights off in the classroom and said to my students, “Who controlled the power of the lights?” She told the students don’t let no one turn your power off. She was very supportive of me not waiting for a principal assignment but she encouraged me to go through the NEA Intern Program for Minorities and Women. I was able to make a career of over 20 years advocating for children and educators. I had an opportunity to visit the Montessori school to share my experiences with the students. Gone but never forgotten my friend Mrs. Geraldine. Johnson.

  • We are sending our condolences on the passing of Mrs. Johnson. My children, Destiny and Kyler attended Johnson’s Montessori , and we all loved Mrs. Johnson very much. She was very classy and special to our family; and we knew that she was about business when it came to educating our children! My prayers are with you all. She will be truly missed.

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