Barbara Bradford Dake Johnson died Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at St. Andrews Village, Boothbay Harbor. Born March 16, 1931 in Boston, Barby grew up on the campus of Phillips Academy Andover where her father was teacher and coach. She was graduated from Abbot Academy in 1948 and Smith College in 1952. Always the life of the party, Barby caught the eye of a family friend’s classmate, Charles Clark Johnson, when she slipped and fell on a ping pong table. Both the ping pong table and Clark fell hard. After a courtship at the University of Pennsylvania and on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, Barby and Clark married in 1953. They settled in Chatham, New Jersey, where they raised their son Pete and daughters Andie and Ginna and lived for over forty years. After working at Bell Labs, Barby volunteered for the Junior League of Morristown, the Voluntary Action Center of Morris County (for which she was founding director), the Fair Housing Council, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Summit, and Smith. She also worked as a medical researcher for the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial in Newark, New Jersey.
The Johnsons retired to Boothbay, Maine, 25 years ago, where they enjoyed volunteering, sailing, entertaining and continuing education courses. One of Barby's passions was playing bridge. She was a member of multiple foursomes and played Duplicate, a highly competitive form of tournament bridge. In Boothbay, neighbors became family and family shared countless holidays and vacations. Throughout her life, Barby was a masterful hostess, overseeing lively parties without ever seeming to lift a finger. Barby—affectionately known as Meem—had a loving relationship with each of her children, their spouses, Hildy, John and Duke, seven grandchildren, Molly (Bryan), Owen (Bri), Mackie (James), Jona (Blaire), JT, Tip (Lauren) and Evan and three great grandchildren, Simone, Clementine and Charlie. For Christmas, she handwrote all the favorite family recipes that made each holiday so memorable, creating a cookbook for each of us. Like all our memories of her, our cookbooks will be treasured.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter/ Midcoast Humane at midcoasthumane.org, 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME 04011 or to Smith College at smith.edu, 10 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063.
Friends are invited to stop by Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 6, 22 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor, anytime between 4 and 6:30 pm on Saturday, June 1, to celebrate her life.
Hall’s of Boothbay has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences, please visit hallfuneralhomes.com