Mary Jane Johnson

Published 1:29 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

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TRYON — Mary Jane Johnson, 101, a recent resident of White Oaks, Tryon, NC passed peacefully on December 13, 2021 in Landrum, SC.  She was born in South Bend, Indiana on January 29, 1920. Her parents were Eugene Calvin and Anna Richards Bird.  

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Purdue University, Mary Jane Bird married Alan (Hap) Dillistin Johnson, on June 11, 1942.  Shortly after their marriage, during and after WWII, she and Hap raised their four daughters in northern Ohio.  Mary Jane was a dedicated homemaker with exceptional cooking and handiwork skills, which she passed on to her daughters.  She was a true home economist:  creative ‘leftovers’, mending socks, canning tomatoes and peaches every summer.  

In 1975, Mary Jane and Hap retired to NC to plant a vineyard and a large garden.   In addition to becoming an excellent vegetable gardener, Mary Jane became a skilled weaver and participated in a Tryon, NC, weaving group.  She was a quiet person but had a warm, inquisitive, and caretaking style that drew people to her.  

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Surviving are her four daughters, Jinny Johnson (Annapolis, Maryland), Cynthia Johnson (Berkeley, California), Elizabeth Hitch (husband, Keith, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Ann Johnson (husband, Mike, Seattle, Washington), 8 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.  

Mary Jane’s ashes will be laid to rest in a family plot in New Jersey this summer.  

Memorials may be made to Upstate Community Hospice House, 260 Fairwinds Road, Landrum, South Carolina 29356.

An on-line guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Tryon, North Carolina