Emily J. Johnson (née Jay), age 87, passed away on February 8th, 2023.
Born in Philadelphia in 1935 to Kenneth and Emily (née Strayline) Jay, Emily grew up in Hartford Connecticut. She was an only child but developed numerous lasting friendships, many into adulthood. She continued to build deep and loving
attachments along the way, especially with her dearest friends Alice and Diane.
Emily married Charles Johnson (thanks to a serendipitous taxi ride) and moved to Wildwood NJ and then Philadelphia where she and Chuck raised three children: Laura (James Dooley), Catherine (Joachim Antonio), and Kenneth (Rhonda Clark). After Kenny entered school Emily restarted her career as an insurance adjustor, working for many years only steps away from Independence Hall.
Emily found great joy in music; she loved the waltz and much of the popular stage and movie music. Starting with an organ inherited from her Aunt Dolly and then with her own piano, Emily played nearly every day (often to the delight of her husband and kids). She eventually took lessons and performed her first recital in her 70’s.
Although she could never tolerate the creepy-crawlies and flying bugs, she had room in her heart for the many pets her kids (and Chuck) brought home – dogs, cats, chickens, a rabbit, and even a hamster! She truly loved her constant companion after she lost Chuck to heart failure in 1993, a beautiful gray cat named Shadow, even though she was allergic.
Emily loved to swim, read, play expert pinochle, watch ice skating, and argue politics – tempered by the occasional hot fudge sundae. While she was admittedly the world’s worst speller, she was a gifted creative writer. She wrote stories, articles, and won a prize for poetry. She loved the beach, Knoebels Amusement Park with the kids, the happy times spent visiting family - especially Aunt Jane and Uncle Joe, and finally got her wish to fly to Hawaii when she was 81.
Emily truly found her calling in the role of doting grandmother to Jay, Brendan, Sophia, and Kenneth. She was also a devoted great-grandmother to Tala, James, Hali, and Penelope. Emily also treasured her relationship with stepdaughter Helcia and step-grandson Ronald.
Emily was honest, intelligent, resilient, hard-working, open-minded, and devoted to her family, friends, and community. Her good humor and generous soul were a blessing and a comfort to all who knew her.
Relatives and friends are invited to her Visitation, Wednesday morning, February 15 th , 10:30am-11:00am at The Donohue Funeral Home located at 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square PA 19073, 610-353-6300, followed by her Memorial Service at 11:00AM. Interment Private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Emily’s memory would be appreciated to Pennsylvania SPCA, https://www.pspca.org/donate.