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Barbara B. Johnson

February 26, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Barbara B. Johnson passed away peacefully on February 2, 2016 after a brief hospital stay. She was born on November 4, 1916 in Ohio, the daughter of Bertha Beckwith and Elbe Johnson. She had a brother Herbert, who predeceased her.

Barbara earned her Bachelor's degree at Western College for Women, which later became part of the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. Following graduation, she went on to Columbia University in N.Y.C., where she received her Master's degree in Library Science. Her working career brought her to public and college libraries for many years in New York City, Bronxville, N.Y., Rhode Island State College, and Oberlin College. Deciding to explore another interest, she enrolled in courses in art, drawing, design and interior decoration at the University of Miami and moved there in 1960. After her course completion, she worked for about seven years in an interior decorating and fabrics firm before finally returning to work in the public library in Miami and Coral Gables.

She retired at 62 and enjoyed volunteering especially at the Fairfield Tropical Botanical Gardens in Miami. In addition, her interest in travel motivated several trips in the U.S. and abroad notably Spain and Portugal. Eventually the Miami area had grown too large for her comfort and after researching other communities, she settled on Sanibel and moved there in 1985.

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Her volunteerism was much in demand here as the new Historical Museum had just recently opened. After signing on in 1985, her professional attributes were put to good use as a docent and docent scheduler. She participated in this activity for 20 years and upon retiring was honored at a docent recognition luncheon for her years of dedicated and enthusiastic service. In addition to the Historical Museum, she pursued volunteering at the Sanibel Library where she was involved in Circulation as well as maintaining the Library Archives for over 20 years. It was only in the last two or three years that her immobility caused her to give up her library service, which had become very important to her.

Barbara was a single woman who lived alone all her life, and until the very end she showed great independence and resolve in managing her life and only accepted assistance with reluctance although she was appreciative of help she received through F.I.S.H. and neighbors and friends who showed concern for her. Her home entertainment was working cross word puzzles and listening to baseball on the radio, which she followed faithfully during season. She was a very intelligent woman with a happy disposition and a sharp sense of humor and really sparkled when people came to visit.

Barbara leaves behind many friends who admired her and who were inspired by her independence. She will be greatly missed Rest in peace, Barbara.

Interment will be private.

 
 

 

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