Patricia Elaine Johnson
Patricia Elaine Johnson passed away peacefully in Fresno with family by her side on January 11, 2021. She was 92.
Patricia was a retired social worker in adoptions for Children’s Home Society for over 41 years and former president of the anti-abortion organization Right to Life for over 20 years. Although it was a small part of her job, Pat could hardly believe she was walking out of the hospital with a premature baby for the first time. Even though that would happen countless more times, it was always amazing to her to have a newborn in her arms.
Pat was born in Fresno, the community to which her Irish forbearers had migrated in the late 1800s. She wrote that among her “greatest blessings” was having been born into her Catholic faith to “loving and nurturing parents” John and Rosina (Slaven) Johnson. Her mother’s side of the family met every Sunday after mass and afterwards were blessed to gather around the dining room table for food and conversation. Pat also enjoyed visiting her dad’s side of the family in San Francisco who had that great Irish humor.
She attended Saint Theresa High School in Fresno and was the last class to graduate in June 1946. From there, Pat was accepted to study at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles and received her undergraduate degree in social welfare in June 1950. In August 1953, Pat earned her graduate degree in social welfare from UCLA.
She would soon work for the American Red Cross for two years attending to the health and welfare needs of American servicemen stationed in Japan. She also had a passion for the unborn. Pat was active in Right to Life and was honored at the 2007 Annual Dinner.
Pat was preceded in death by her beloved parents, John and Rosina Johnson, and brothers, Larry and Ronald Johnson, and brother- in-law, Jack Wathen. Pat is survived by her sister, Doreen Wathen, and her nieces and nephews, Gerald Wathen, Mark and Nancy Wathen, Janet and David Wright, John and Lori Wathen, Eileen Wilner, Ann Wathen, Skip Woodman, and Pam Guillory, her great nieces and nephews, and her cousins.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private (immediate family only) Recitation of the Holy Rosary and Mass will be celebrated at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on February 19, 2021 at 10 a.m. The Rosary and Mass will be live-streamed for all other attendees. Please go to Holy Spirit Church website at www.holyspirit.org on the day of the service for the link.
In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made in Pat’s name to: Right to Life of Central California, 1742 Griffith Way, Fresno, CA 93726; The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Diocese of Fresno, 1550 N. Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93703; Concern America, P.O. Box 1790, Santa Ana, CA 92702.
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