The Orange Leader
Berniece McCarroll Johnson, nee Ethel Berniece McCarroll, died December 14, 2013, her 99th birthday, in Denver, Colorado.
Born December 14, 1914 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas to Dr. Horace Rudolph and Pearl Henry McCarroll, she was the youngest of their six children. At the age of sixteen, Berniece entered Ouachita Baptist College in Arkadelphia, AR, where she was graduated in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In 1936 she returned to her hometown and taught English. In 1937, upon the retirement of her father from the practice of medicine, she moved with her parents to San Antonio, TX, where she continued to teach and study.
In 1944 she was married to Richard Benjamin Johnson, her college sweetheart, and a Major in the U.S. Army. At the end of the Second World War and the conclusion of Bennie’s second overseas tour of duty, the couple moved to Orange, TX. Here they raised their three sons and were active in the community. Berniece was the first woman to be ordained as a Ruling Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Orange.
She was a Member of the D.A.R., a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, and the Altrusa Club “Outstanding Woman of the Year” in 1978.
One of the great fascinations of her life was the research, recording, and sharing of the congregation’s peerless history as a Docent of the Lutcher Memorial Presbyterian Church Building in Orange, devoting her time to that study for the Glory of God.
Widowed in 1999 after 55 years of marriage, Berniece made her residence at Presbyterian Village North, Dallas, TX. She subsequently relocated to Denver, Colorado. She was preceded in death by her husband, her siblings, and her second son, James N. Johnson, of Austin, TX. She is survived by sons Dr. Richard B. Johnson, Jr. and his wife Marguerite, of Kerrville, Texas and by Dr. Philip M. Johnson and his wife Lynn, of Denver Colorado; grandchildren: Margaret J. Peebles (Rev. Jack), Evan Johnson (Lori), Meredith J. Stuart (Bradley), Sarah Sparling (Jon), Kristi Murtha (Joshua), Richard Davis, and Russell Johnson; great-grandchildren: Annabelle Peebles, David Peebles, Richard Benjamin Johnson, III, and Charlotte Murtha.
A Memorial Service for Berniece McCarroll Johnson will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Orange, Texas on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm with interment in the Church Columbarium. The Rev. Dr. Philip W. McLarty will officiate. A reception will follow.
Memorials may be given to First Presbyterian Church, Columbarium Fund or Prayer Garden, P. O. Box 129, Orange, Texas, or to the charity of one’s choice.