Karen Joan Russell Johnson, 72, of Mount Pleasant, SC, entered into eternal rest on August 15, 2020, surrounded by the love of her family.
Joan was born on October 30, 1947, in Rome, Georgia. She was a graduate of Bishop England High School and Orangeburg Regional Medical Center Nursing School. She married her high-school sweetheart, Harold W. Johnson, Jr., and worked for a short time as a nurse in labor and delivery before retiring to devote her life to her truest love, her family.
A devout Catholic with an incredibly strong will, Joan was nearly taken from her family at 23 years old, but she fought against all medical odds to stand alongside her soul mate and achieve her dream of building a beautiful family. She is a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. Her adoring grandchildren closed every conversation with their "Ma" by exchanging her favorite goodbye: "Love you pieces!" Joan passed away and was reunited with Harold just one day shy of their 51st wedding anniversary.
She will be dearly missed by her loving children, Tara Johnson Hughes (Jeffrey), Kelly Diane Gardner (Marty), and Craig Russell Johnson (Lauren); eleven grandchildren; a large extended family; and many loving friends, including Octavia Milligan, Caroline Stoll, and Maria Gabriella Gideon-Simons, beautiful companions with whom God has surely blessed us. Joan was preceded in death by her devoted husband Harold, her parents, and two siblings. She is also survived by her three siblings, Gerald Russell (Letty), Donna Dodds (Gerald), and Michael Russell (Pamela); and two sisters-in-law, Patricia Barbour (Rick) and Elizabeth Ann Wood (Tom).
Joan was truly a miracle who exemplified unconditional love. We love you to pieces, Ma.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held for the family (due to COVID), on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 11 AM at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, 950 Darrell Creek Trail, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466.
Inurnment services will be open to the public at 12:00 PM, at St Benedict's Columbarium, following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Joan's memory, to East Cooper Meals on Wheels, 2304 N Hwy 17, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.mcalister-smith.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, Mt. Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.