Family, community remember impact made by Thelma B. Johnson - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Family, community remember impact made by Thelma B. Johnson

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Relatives tell 14 News Johnson was well-traveled and placed an emphasis on education. Relatives tell 14 News Johnson was well-traveled and placed an emphasis on education.

Thelma B. Johnson died at the age of 103. Hers is a name you should know.

She is the namesake of Henderson County's new preschool facility, but there is more to her story.

As 14 News found out Thursday, Johnson made quite an impact on the entire community.

Relatives tell us Johnson won't just be remembered through stories and memories. They say her accomplishments will help her legacy live on.

"I'm just so glad that she came into my life," said Johnson's cousin Eva Cofield.

Friends and family are mourning the loss of Thelma B. Johnson through the tears, but there are smiles, remembering the positive impact she had on others.

"I'm really proud of her," noted Johnson's second cousin Priscilla Kruize.

Cousins tell 14 News Johnson, originally from Florida, was a dedicated aunt who taught relatives about etiquette, and about life.

"My parents brought me up at the age of 10n to see snow and I think that was my first real encounter with cousin Thelma," recalled Karen Hawkins.

Johnson was also the first Black person elected to public office in Henderson County, serving eight years on the school board, chairperson for four. She also served 23 years with the UK Cooperative Extension Service.

Those who knew Thelma say she also loved working with children. Henderson County Schools say it's fitting that the new Early Learning Center bears her name.

"She had a full life and she made maximum use of all of her talents," said HCS Superintendent Dr. Thomas Richey.

"They didn't have any children, but she was a mother to many," Cofield said.

Relatives tell 14 News Johnson was well-traveled and placed an emphasis on education.

"A very fair and honest person," Hawkins said. "She was always objective. She listened to both sides."

All qualities those who knew Thelma say, will live on in her absence.

"We will remember her for not what she's done for us in the past but what she will do for our young people in the future," Dr. Richey said.

Visitation for Thelma B. Johnson will be held Friday evening at Greater Norris Chapel Baptist Church in Henderson. Her funeral service will also be at the church Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m.

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