Cover photo for Dorothy Jean Johnson's Obituary
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1940 Dorothy Jean Johnson 2023

Dorothy Jean Johnson

November 22, 1940 — May 6, 2023


If life is a song worth singing, then every breath taken should exude the melody and the harmony of Dorothy Jean Johnson. After a valiant fight against cancer, Dorothy transitioned peacefully on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at her home. She was 82. The unforgettable moment in time was November 22, 1940, it was then that Dorothy made her grand entrance into the world. Delivered by a midwife in Arkadelphia, she was the beloved middle daughter of James Browning and Lucy Smith Beard.

Family played a key role in the development and shaping of her life. She was blessed to be both the little sister to Betty and the big sister to Tina. Dorothy accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior as a little girl and united with Pleasant Hill AME Church.

Dorothy was a graduate of Peake High School. On September 26, 1961, she married Preston Lynn Johnson, Sr. Their union was blessed with Preston, Jr., and Laketha. Their home was filled with love and laughter. They settled in Arkadelphia and united with St. Paul AME Church. They were married for 30 years until their marriage ended, but they remained great friends, supportive parents, and loving grandparents.

She enjoyed cooking and worked at Hospitality Care Center as a cook and later at the Arkadelphia Human Development Center. She retired as Cook Supervisor after 19 years of service. In her spare time, she enjoyed talking on the telephone, cooking, and shopping from HSN. She enjoyed music with her favorite songs being "Silent Night” by the Temptations and "Lord Don’t Move That Mountain” by Inez Andrews. She was a private woman who found solace in the comfort of her home away from the hustle and bustle of life. Her glowing smile, sweet and soft disposition will be forever missed.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, James Browning and Lucy Smith Beard; a brother, James Browning; her sister Betty J. Newburn (2022); her twin nephews, Anthony Newburn (2018) and Aubrey Newburn (2023) Preston L. Johnson, Sr. (2020) and her best friend, Essie Jackson (2023).

She leaves a lifetime of love and memories with her son, Preston, and his wife, Beverly, and her daughter, Laketha; her grandchildren, Janey (Mike) Lewis, Javon Nash, Makayla Johnson, and Jayden Nash; her great-grandchildren, Laiyah and Kylo; her sisters, Tina Browning, Vera Parks, and Beatrice Martin. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. 

Visitation will be Friday, May 19, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A service in honor of her life will be shared at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Williams Funeral Home, with Rev. J. L. Newburn, eulogist. The interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Jean Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, May 19, 2023

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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