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Billye Sue Johnson, age 97, passed away peacefully July 29, 2022. She was born November 9, 1924 in LaMesa, Texas to William and Suzie Young. She married in 1944, during the war at Goodfellow field in San Angelo, Texas. Her longtime friend and husband, Herbert John Johnson, preceded her in death in 2000.
Billye had many friends and more than one career. She raised five boys and was well acquainted with hard work growing up in the depression with a single mom that worked to support them. Billye worked with 2 of her oldest boys raising 13,500 chickens on a ranch in the Mohave Desert of California. She was an expert seamstress and sewed every day of her life for decades. Having a husband and sons who were artist, she began taking art classes and became a well-known artist. She developed her own unique style of dimensional tole painting and wrote 3 successful books on her technique. Not stopping there, she began to take watercolor painting classes and became an expert in this very difficult art medium.
In her last two decades she began, with a close friend, a sewing ministry for children overseas who desperately needed clothing. Missionaries traveling the world would take suitcases of these to clothe these special children.
Billye loved books and loved to read. She collected books and continually shared these books with her family and friends. She also collected friends and seemed to have added multiples every decade of her life. She was faithful to keep in contact with so many people and find ways to provide meaningful input into each, whether through sewing, art, cards, letters or phone calls. And what a memory, never forgetting a birthday or anniversary, often highlighting her great generosity. With each family or friend there was an attraction to the depth of her character which was a direct reflection of her faith heritage. Her mother’s deep commitment to Jesus Christ also became Billye’s and was her foundation exhibited best in her quiet confidence.
Billye is survived by two of her five sons and their wives, Rick and Cindy Johnson, Herbert and Kimberly Johnson; two daughters-in-laws, Faye Johnson and Della Johnson, grandchildren Matthew Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Mark Johnson, Peter Johnson, Lesley Jaaskelainen, Andrew Johnson, Charles Johnson, Jackie Nipper, Gina Lopez, Amy Brown, Kevin Johnson and Jennifer Johnson: plus 16 great grandchildren and her many nephews and nieces. All of these she loved and touched deeply.
Please join us in celebrating her life Monday, August 8, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Mountain View Mortuary, 7900 East Main Street, Mesa, Az. 85207.
For those not able to attend in person, Billye’s service will be live streamed. Please follow the link below on the day of the service. Family and friends are also welcomed to participate in the the digital Register Book that is part of the same link to leave memories of Billye for her family.