Obituary of Kathryn Cecile Johnson
Kathryn Cecile (Ready) Johnson died on March 11, 2020, culminating a long life, well-lived. She was born February 17, 1931 in Austin, Texas, to Vida and Cecil Ready. She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, moving there in the 6th grade and living on St. Mary's Street. After graduating from Central High School, she went to Millsaps and then Ole Miss, where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. In 1953, she married Whitman B. Johnson, Jr. of Clarksdale, Mississippi. After he finished medical school and his surgery residency, they moved to his hometown. While he practiced medicine for over 55 years, she became the quintessential Delta lady. Born and raised as a member of the Methodist faith, she was very active at the Clarksdale United Methodist Church, even while regularly attending St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, where her husband and children were parishioners. Kathryn remained in Clarksdale for approximately a year after her husband Whit, Jr. died in March, 2016. She was able to do so thanks to the help of excellent caregivers including Johnny Horton, Helen Allen, Lisa Paden, Roberta Williams, Alice Taylor, and Mary Hicks. She then moved to The Blake in Flowood, Mississippi where she stayed until April, 2018, at which time she became a resident at St. Catherine's Village in Madison, Mississippi. Kathryn had three sons ? Whit Johnson III (George), an attorney practicing in the Jackson, Mississippi area; Read Johnson (Kathy), an engineer in Houston, Texas retired from General Electric; and Ches Johnson (Brooke), a political consultant in the Washington, D.C. area. She also had three grandchildren and one great grandchild. Ann Boswell Carlson lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with her husband Chris and the great grandchild R.B. Ann Boswell is a teacher at Jackson Academy. Collins Pease lives with her husband Nick in Chicago, where she is a marketing representative for the technology company Cisco. Whit Johnson IV also currently lives in Chicago, and is pursuing an acting career with the help of his girlfriend, Ashton Swinford. Although raising three boys was job enough, Kathryn actively supported her husband's practice and excelled in her role as a physician's wife. As remarkable as her husband was, she truly was his "better half." She also provided a shining example to her sons of the type of woman each should look for as a mate, while also teaching them the values needed to become the best husband and father possible. She was a lifelong Rebel fan and attended numerous football games, but Kathryn's primary focus was always her family. She was an excellent cook, and each of her sons fondly remembers the many times she "baked a picture", trying out a new recipe from a magazine. Despite this, she was somehow never able to prevent the baked omelet from totally collapsing. Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Vida Ready; her husband, Dr. Whitman B. Johnson, Jr.; and her sister, Carolyn Ready Williamson of Greenville, North Carolina. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchild. Given the current healthcare situation, there will be graveside services limited only to family. A memorial service will be planned for a future date and notification placed in the church bulletin for each of Clarksdale United Methodist Church and St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. The family appreciates everyone's prayers and support during this time of both mourning and joy. Any memorials should be sent to Clarksdale United Methodist Church or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.