Theano P Johnson | 1921 - 2013 | Obituary

Theano P Johnson  
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Theano P Johnson

Born: April 30, 1921
Died: January 30, 2013

Theano Papista Johnson, 91, born in Detroit, eldest child of Costa and Anthoula (Kiratsos) Papista of Kozani and Detroit, passed away peacefully Wednesday morn- ing. Predeceased by sister Alex Mallos and “kid” brother Mike Papista. Survived by her devoted husband of 68 years, George Y. Johnson. Ultimate role model mother to daughters Emmy (Jeff) Fearn and Anthy (Don) O’Brien, professional role model to her nieces. Loving yiayia to grandchildren Matthew (Deja) Lightner, Christopher (Ariana) Lightner, Dria Fearn, Michael (Kelly) Lightner, and Jonathan Fearn, and great-granddaughters. Loving Godmother of Louis Dokos and Kim Kolivas Mackenzie. Loving aunt of numerous nieces and nephews Loving cousin of Mary Karsant and Andy Park. Theano grew up working in her family’s Greek diner. Founding member Wayne State University Greek Club, and created the University’s first scholarship for Greek stu- dents. Graduated 1943 with teaching credential and B.A. in Library Science. She met George, the love of her life, at a church dance. They married July 1944, before George shipped out to the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy. She moved to the Bay Area, where she was welcomed into the Greek community, and upon George’s release from the service, the couple built their life together in Oakland. Proud Greek-Americans, they took their daughters and grandchildren to Washington, D.C. to learn about their American heritage. Civic engagement ran in her blood, as former State Senator Nick Petris’ first assembly campaign was run and won at her dining room table. Founding school librarian at Oakland’s Montera Jr. High, she is fond- ly remembered by former colleagues and students. Taught Sunday School for years at Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption and Ascension Cathedral, building the church from the ground up. In retirement, Theano volunteered countless hours at Crocker Highlands and Redwood Day schools as a room (grand)parent and librarian. 50+ year member of Daughters of Penelope, Echo #4, serving as president in 1955, when her chapter was named District 21’s Chapter of the Year. With her organizing talents, she was the planner extraordinaire of countless, large-scale church and AHEPA Family events. Served on Oakland Museum Women’s Board, working at the White Elephant Sale from its inception until 2001. She instilled high expectations in her children and grand- children, taking pride that all of her progeny were college graduates. Ultimate grandmother, she always had popsi- cles, koulourakia (Greek “rope” cookies), and ice cream on hand for her grandkids and their friends. Friends and family are invited to attend her Trisagion (wake) Monday, February 4, 7:00 pm, at Ascension Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. Funeral Tuesday, February 5, at 11:00 a.m. at Ascension Cathedral. Interment at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, with Makaria (luncheon) to follow at the Ascension Community Center. With her passion for education and concern for com- munity welfare, in lieu of flowers, donations requested to Daughters of Penelope Echo #4 (Scholarship—Theano Johnson; c/o Sophia Johnston, 2660 Marineview Dr., San Leandro, 94577) or Ascension Philoptochos (via Ascension Cathedral). For further information please call: Harry W. Greer, Funeral Director (FDR-745)

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