Janet Adams Johnson
June 24, 1929 – June 4, 2011
Janet Adams Johnson was born June 24, 1929 in Elymer, Canada, the daughter of Margaret Jones Adams and Richard Jones. She spent the first part of her childhood cared for by her grandma Blanchie Cartwright. Everyone knew Janet as “Jessie’s girl” and at five years old, she would walk into town to buy an ice cream cone for the 2 cents she had earned picking strawberries. That love of a small town was a feeling that never left her.
Janet spent her school years in San Bernardino, where her mother and stepfather, Robert Warner Adams, settled. She graduated from San Bernardino High School and loved cutting school with the boys to drive to Laguna Beach to body surf and play in the surf with their B 29 inner tube.
Graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1951, she met her true love, a returning GI, Raynard Alexander Johnson. Married in 1950, they soon moved to Costa Mesa, where Janet began a career teaching in what is now the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. In 1977 she went back to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of San Francisco. In 1985 she was recognized by her peers and administrators and received Orange County’s “Outstanding Teacher” award. She finished her career as a district administrator, administering testing and reporting results to the state just as the computer age was unfolding.
Always a community volunteer, Janet was a member of the Costa Mesa Women’s Club, and the Child Guidance Clinic of Orange County. In retirement, Janet pursued a number of community and civic projects, most notably founding the “Knifty Knitters” group that has for over 20 years, knit and sewed baby hats, blankets and sweaters for homeless families. These were distributed by S.P.I.N. She enjoyed her book group, lunches with fellow teachers, time with her grandchildren and many outings to the American Legion with her husband.
One of Janet’s greatest joys was reuniting late in life with her brothers, Bruce Jones and Gary Jones. Meeting her brothers, with whom she shared a number of characteristics and interests, completed her love of a big and extended family.
Janet is survived by Raynard Alexander Johnson, her loving husband of 61 years, her children Debbie Johnson, Susan (Chris) Woodward, Todd (Lisa) Johnson, and Brad (Patti) Johnson, and seven grandchildren, Alexander, James and Andrew Woodward, Heath, Grant and Noel Johnson, and Alexandra Johnson, and her brothers Bruce (Kathy) Jones and Gary (Diane) Jones. Two other brothers predeceased her.