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Dover Post
  • Obituary: Sara Barnett Johnson

  • Sara Barnett Johnson, formerly of Dover, Del., passed away on Aug. 19, 2013 following a sudden stroke, with her children Bruce and Emily at her side in Rock Hill, S.C. She was 82.
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  • Sara Barnett Johnson, formerly of Dover, Del., passed away on Aug. 19, 2013 following a sudden stroke, with her children Bruce and Emily at her side in Rock Hill, S.C. She was 82.
    The daughter of Rufus and Dell Barnett, she was born Sara Emily Barnett in Clover, S.C., the third of five children. Growing up on the family farm, Sara went on to earn her degree from Winthrop College in South Carolina, and moved to Alexandria, Va., where she worked as a secretary at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House. She played a key role in reopening this historical church where George Washington's funeral was held. In Alexandria, Sara met Charles (Chuck) A. Johnson, who she married in 1952, followed by the birth of their son, Bruce (who later went on to be the Dover Post's first photographer) and daughter Emily. The Johnsons moved to Milford, Del. in the early 1960s, and subsequently to Dover, Del. in the later 1960s. Working in local schools, Sara soon endeared herself to the Dover community through her kind, compassionate manner in which she engaged with students, educators and parents alike. She ultimately retired as the Principal's Secretary at Dover's Fairview Elementary School in 1994.
    Sara was well-known throughout Dover for her genuine charm and warmth, as well as her steadfast friendship. Her boundless caring for others touched the lives of many, all of whom would be readily able to recount how Sara made them feel special. The embodiment of selflessness, she was always available to give her time and energy as a regular volunteer or as a friend with a helping hand. Her efforts in support of church activities, the Luther Towers senior residence and other community events gave Sara fulfillment in serving her community.
    Her grace, loyalty and spirit were unmatched. Upon the sudden loss of Chuck, her beloved husband of 48 years in 2000, Sara pursued a new chapter in her life with enthusiasm, spending time with her many friends and traveling to visit family across the United States and Germany, as well as exploring Ireland, Scotland and England. Moving to Rock Hill, S.C. in May 2012 to be closer to her family and hometown friends, she immediately made a lasting impression with her neighbors, who quickly came to know her charismatic personality and loving nature.
    In addition to the numerous friends Sara leaves behind, she will be deeply missed by her son, Bruce A. Johnson of Youngsville, N.C.; her daughter, Emily (Johnson) Mardis of Middletown, Del.; her son-in-law Christopher S. Mardis of Middletown, Del.; and by her grandchildren Spencer Mardis, Colin Johnson, Mason Johnson and Rebecca Mardis. Sara is also survived by her brother, Wilson Barnett of Gastonia, N.C.; her sister, Rebecca (Barnett) Byrd of Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; and her brother Mason Barnett of Clover, S.C. She is preceded in death by her sister Helen (Barnett) Goforth.
    Page 2 of 2 - A memorial service celebrating Sara Barnett Johnson's life will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12 at The Presbyterian Church of Dover, 54 S. State St., Dover, DE 19901. Donations to the American Heart Association are welcomed.
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