Mamie Lee Atchison Johnson began an admirable life on May 1, 1937 and was entrusted to God’s eternal care on Saturday, August 8, 2020. She was one of four children born to Joe Atchison and Mamie May of St. Stephens, Alabama. Having been educated in the Washington County Public School System, she developed a love for sports early in Junior high school; a love that would remain with her forever. Upon graduation from Prestwick High School at the age of 16, she enrolled at Alabama State University. While matriculating at ASU, she participated in basketball, track, creative dance, and was also head majorette of the Mighty Marching Hornets. She received her bachelor’s degree with a double major and minor, as well as, two Master’s Degrees from Alabama State University. While attending college, she met and later married Edward Johnson; they had three children.
Upon graduating from college, her career as an educator started when she taught Physical Education in Anniston, Alabama and in St. Stephens, Alabama. After integration was mandated, she was transferred to Leroy High School in 1967 and became the first black teacher to be employed there. During her tenure at Leroy, her love and involvement for sports continued. She was instrumental in restarting the girls’ basketball team program in 1977 and the Girls Softball Team. Additionally, she coached Girls Basketball for over 20 years, Girls Volleyball for 7 years, and Track for 4 years. She was also the Cheerleader Sponsor for 4 years.
Mamie was fondly regarded and remembered for building lasting bonds with students, parents, faculty, and during her retirement, she remained active in her community and church. She was a faithful member of James Chapel Baptist Church where she served on various ministries. She was also a surrogate caretaker for those in need, a founding member of the St. Stephen’s Nutrition Center, a substitute bus driver, and a member/delegate of the Washington County Retired Teachers Association. When not helping others, she enjoyed traveling to see family and friends, cooking, quilting, and shopping.
Mamie was preceded in death by her brother: James Ellis Atchison; sister: Jo’Dee Atchison Smith; husband: Edward Louis Johnson; and son: Eduardo Fernandez Johnson.
She leaves to faithfully cherish her memories two children: Curtis (Reyes) Johnson and Ed’Juana Johnson-Newton; two brothers: Dell Atchison and John Henry; three brothers-in-law: Richmond Earl Smith, George (Maggie) Johnson, and Bernard Johnson; two sisters-in-law: Mayola Johnson and Thelma Johnson; five grandchildren: Joe Johnson, Serita Newton, Maranda Johnson, Phillip Johnson, and Curtis (Jody) Johnson; a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; and devoted friends: Fannie Dixon, Rev. Dorothy Davis, Beatrice Davis, and Etta Howell Sargent.
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