Janet L. (Campbell) Johnson

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Janet L. (Campbell) Johnson

August 22, 1939 - September 02, 2018

Janet L. (Campbell) Johnson Gloucester, MA - Janet L. (Campbell) Johnson, 79, devoted wife and mother, departed to heaven surrounded by the love of her three daughters, at Gloucester Healthcare in Gloucester, Mass.

Janet was a classic beauty, born of strong faith who overcame a trying childhood with grace and aplomb. She graduated Lynn English in 1957 and started an independent life at the young age of 17. An advanced typist, she soon began working at the Boston office of the esteemed advertising agency, Fuller, Smith & Ross. Her talent moved her swiftly from the “steno pool” to the typesetting department, where she worked with people around the globe directing font usage for ads. It was during this time that her roommate/coworker introduced her to the man who would become the love of her life, Walter R. Johnson, a recent graduate from MIT’s department of Metallurgy. They married in Boston in 1961 with a “time of their lives” reception at the MIT Faculty Club. Janet had moved over a dozen times in her life and craved a true home. In 1962 they settled in Lanesville, a small village in Gloucester, Mass., on the beautiful shores of Ipswich Bay. Janet was so inspired with their new view that she started a hobby in oil painting. Her untrained yet naturally talented eye captured “Ipswich Bay blue” and Lanesville’s unprecedented sunsets like no other. A doting mother and homemaker, she raised three daughters, donning them all in beautiful attire (often times hand-sewn), playing board games, and routinely visiting nearby Plum Cove Beach for swimming lessons. Nothing made Janet happier than raising her girls in her own home with her handsome, devoted husband. She was a proud mother and provided shelter and love to all children who entered their doors.

In 1978, Janet began night classes at Gordon College to earn her real estate license. As with everything, she pushed her career to full throttle, beginning with Realty World in Gloucester’s Brown’s Mall and then Hunneman Realty. In 1982, she started her own practice, Janet L. Johnson Real Estate with an office in Rocky Neck, Gloucester. She also managed the properties of the surrounding art colony. Janet’s gift for matching clients with their "perfect home" is what catapulted her to the top of her game. She would forge deep friendships with her clients and if they outgrew their first home, she’d find them their next “perfect home.” Janet adored the word "home" and her work. She went on to become President of the Cape Ann Realtor’s Association for several years, as well as winning many other accolades and awards for her successful practice during her nearly 40-year career. Most will remember her signature style: Silver Fox coat for those blustery Cape Ann winters, heels, “the perfect red” lipstick, and her cherished white Cutlass Supreme Oldsmobile.

Her love of fine dining was evident in her collection of nearly 1,000 cookbooks. She so enjoyed reading about the restaurants with rich histories, independent chefs who found their way to success, and simple home-grown cookbooks from the community. Her husband Walter was a home chef in his own right and together they also enjoyed the fare of many a restaurant—their three girls typically alongside. In later years, she began to cook more with the knowledge she gained from her collection. Walter would rave to his daughters about the meals “his Janny” made for them.

Upon the death of her beloved Walter in 2009, she retreated to her cookbooks and savored the memory of their lives together. She would live vicariously through the lives of her three daughters whom she cherished, and offered sage words of wisdom from her life experiences, most notoriously, “Everything happens for a reason,” “Whatever will be, will be,” and “Trust in God.” Janet’s steadfast conviction and faith navigated her through life’s adversities. Through it all she never lost faith or had an unkind word to say. Her loving, generous heart will be sorely missed.

Janet is survived by her children, Meryl Markham, son-in-law Todd Markham, granddaughter Mikaela, and grandson Rhys of Ridgefield, Conn.; Leah Rogerson and husband Cameron Rogerson of Madison, Conn.; Christa Johnson of Rockport, Mass., and partner Derek Geary; niece, Donna and husband Dimitri Theodossiou; half-sister Marjorie Sullivan; half-brother, Donald Campbell Jr.; and step-sister, Diane Catarau. She was predeceased by her husband Walter R. Johnson; sister, Patricia Jennings and her husband, Richard Jennings; her father, Donald Murdoch Campbell; and her mother, Helen Slauenwhite Campbell.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, September 29, at Trinity Congregational Church, 70 Middle Street in Gloucester, with a reception to follow downstairs. In lieu of flowers, her daughters encourage donations be made in her name to Gloucester Healthcare who provided excellent, loving care to their mother in her last four months, 272 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Published on September 12, 2018
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