Barbara Jean (Pritchard) Johnson passed away at home peacefully on Monday, July 19, her birthday, at age 78.
Barb was born in 1943 in Baltimore to William Pritchard and Jean (Strauss) Pritchard. Her sister, Ellen Pritchard Campbell, was born in 1948 and spent years doing assigned “schoolwork” during playtime with Barb as the teacher. Barb attended Towson Senior High School, graduating in 1961. She attended Goucher College, also located in Towson, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965.
Barb began dating Raymond B. Johnson Jr. during high school. On July 24, 1965, they married at the Goucher College chapel, on what has been described as a horribly hot day. The couple moved to New Haven, Conn., where Ray worked at Sikorsky Aircraft and Barb began work at Yale University, doing biomedical research on oxygen absorption into blood. Their son, Raymond “Trey” Johnson III, was born in 1970 in New Haven.
The couple moved to Dayton, Ohio, on Queensview Court in 1972, and the next year Margaret “Maisy” Johnson Wootten was born. In 1975, the family moved to the historic Oregon District in Dayton and restored a home on Jones Street. In 1978, the family returned to the Baltimore area.
Barb was an active volunteer throughout her life, serving on church groups, as “cookie mom” for Maisy’s Girl Scout group and as records keeper with Trey’s Boy Scout troop. She joined the Junior League of Baltimore and served in a number of roles, including as president in 1990-1991. She later worked for the National Flag Day Foundation and the March of Dimes, assisting with administration and finances.
With the kids out of college and no longer active “spring breakers,” Barb and Ray moved to Tampa, Fla. A few years -- and warm-weather Christmases -- later, they changed climates and moved to Pittsburgh. They brought with them two cats, Hootie and Fraidy, that Barb had tamed from feral kittens with kindness and tuna. (The “gift” lizards from the cats were left in Florida.)
While living in Pittsburgh, Barb and Ray drove past a billboard: “Consider this a message from God.” This started their journey back to God. They began attending Harmony-Zelienople United Methodist Church. Ray became active in mission trips, and Barb fell in love with Precepts Bible studies, which turned into a life-long pursuit of God. She taught vacation Bible school during a number of summers and served on the church’s governing board. She worked for several years and became very attached to some of the church’s young women during small group meetings.
In 2008, at 65, Barb was rebaptized while attending Grace Church in Cranberry, Pa., where Ray and Barb served as deacons.
In 2010, the gravitational force of grandchildren exerted its pull, and Barb and Ray moved from Pittsburgh to Garnet Valley, near Philadelphia, to be near Maisy, her husband, Gary Wootten, and their three children. Trey and his wife, Lindsay Greer, added a fourth grandchild, located not too far away in Reston, Va.
In Garnet Valley, Barb and Ray became active members of ValleyPoint Church. Barb continued her Precepts study in person and then over Zoom with others across the nation and the world.
Barb, a.k.a. Mom-mom, adored and was adored by her four grandchildren, Jack, Ryan and Molly Wootten and Elliott Johnson. When he was young, Jack loved his time with Mom-mom making up crazy words, having silly conversations and playing games. Ryan has fond memories of playing pirates and the best nighttime back scratches. Molly’s visits to Mom-mom’s always included waffles, movies, and countless hours of pretend play with their well-loved McDonald’s playset. All the Wootten grandchildren are accomplished chocolate chip cookie bakers, having studied at Mom-mom’s kitchen. Elliott and Mom-mom played monster trucks and Go Fish during visits and had standing FaceTime dates twice a week during which a lot of silly phrases were spoken, pictures were taken and play meals were served. Mom-mom loved to sit and talk with her grandchildren, hearing about all their school activities, friends, and sports.
Outside of family and church, Barb loved bird watching, crosswords, knitting, quilting and counted cross-stitch. She also had a secret love affair with Harlequin Romance novels, the Sue Grafton “Alphabet” series and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. A lover of the beach and “dipping my toes in” the ocean, most summers included a trip to Ocean City or another Atlantic Coast town. (And no trip was complete without crabs or Thrasher’s french fries.)
Through all these moves, life events and hobbies, was the love she shared with her husband. In addition to the beach trips, they traveled to Italy and Alaska. The pair delighted in embarrassing their children by acting “lovey-dovey,” but theirs was a relationship that helped show others what a partnership could be. Barb is survived by her sister, husband, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
An evening visitation will be held at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home, 5980 Chichester Ave., Aston, Pa. 19014, on Thursday, July 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A morning visitation will be held at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home on Friday, July 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home at 11 a.m. An inurnment service will be held at Druid Ridge Cemetery, 7900 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21208, on Friday, July 30 at 12:00pm
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wise Penny via the Junior League of Baltimore’s Annual Fund (available at jlbalt.org), Smile Train (available at donate.smiletrain.org) or Unite for HER (available at uniteforher.org).
Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home
Begins: Jul 23, 2021 11:00am - 11:45am
5980 Chichester Ave
Aston, PA 19014
Druid Ridge Cemetery
Jul 30, 2021 12:00pm - 12:00pm
7900 Park Heights Ave
Baltimore , MD 21208
Showing 1-5 of 7 items.
Lucy Skeen says:
Submitted on: Jul 25, 2021
I was fortunate to get to know Barbara through the Junior League and later when we worked together at the March of Dimes. She was a tireless, dedicated, and consistently cheerful worker. Whether it was leading and inspiring 400 volunteers or figuring out the March of Dimes convoluted financial system, her intelligence and compassion were forever in the forefront of whatever challenges Barbara faced. But I think what I loved most about Barbara was her sense of humor. No matter what hurdles we faced, Barbara could always ease the situation by making us laugh. This was a cherished gift to all who knew and worked with her. I missed Barbara when she and Ray left Baltimore and am saddened that her light and laughter has now left us all.
Helene Hahn-Waranch says:
Submitted on: Jul 25, 2021
I am truly saddened to learn of Barb's passing. We spent so wonderful years in the Junior League of Baltimore together. May your memories of Barb sustain the family for years to come.
Margaret Bryant says:
Submitted on: Jul 22, 2021
I am saddened to hear of Barb's passing. A wonderful high school friend and sorority sister. Having many conversations on Facebook. I will surely miss our conversations. Prayers and hugs coming your way. A truly wonderful women.
Anita Koban says:
Submitted on: Jul 21, 2021
We were blessed to know Barbara. I am thinking now of the way her beautiful smile lit up as we talked about her grandchildren. She always was quick to think of others and never left an opportunity go to ask about my children. She will be missed by many. Sending lots of love and prayers for peace during this difficult time. - the Koban Family (Chip, Anita, Abigail, Mirabelle, Aaron and Jamison)
Bill and Sue Collier says:
Submitted on: Jul 21, 2021
Sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. She was a lovely woman and friend. Our prayers are with Ray and the entire family.