Carol Ann (Kempe) Johnson, 83, of New Providence, NJ, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 24 at the Center for Hope in Scotch Plains, NJ after a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She was surrounded by her loving family, holding hands with her husband of 59 years.
Carol Ann was born and raised in Rock Island, IL. Her parents, Kenneth and Pauline Kempe (née Brown) enjoyed raising their two daughters there while Kenneth built a promising homebuilding and insurance firm with his business partner Milton Scheuerman. Sadly Carol Ann’s dear father passed away in 1948 from complications of polio. In 1953 Pauline moved her family to Ann Arbor, MI where Carol Ann graduated from Pioneer High School.
She attended the University of Miami where she was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and was selected homecoming queen. Carol Ann absolutely loved dancing at sock hops around campus, one of the highlights of her college life. She loved the beach and boating scene in Miami, especially after having lived in the cold upper midwest. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Education. Her mother Pauline was also a teacher and Carol Ann was proud to follow in her footsteps.
Following graduation she moved to Washington, D.C., and lived in an apartment in Georgetown and started her teaching career in McLean, VA. Soon after she met Captain Stanley Theodore (Ted) Johnson, Jr. of the U.S. Army. After a whirlwind romance, they married and moved to Fulda, Germany upon Stan’s military orders. They enjoyed two years of travel across Europe, and especially enjoyed Rome, Florence, and Venice. Carol Ann continued her teaching career in Germany.
Following Stan’s yearlong service in Vietnam, he retired from the Army and they moved to Boston, MA. Shortly after they settled in Duxbury where they lived for 27 years and raised their three children. Carol Ann embraced New England seafood and the historic nature of Duxbuy, having been settled by the Pilgrims in 1624. While living in Duxbury they made and maintained many dear lifelong friends, from the neighborhood as well as from the Pilgrim Church where they were members for three decades.
Stan and Carol Ann retired to Hilton Head, SC enjoying 18 years of warm weather, trivia nights, great food, book clubs (Carol Ann), golf (Ted) and wonderful friendships both new and old.
Carol Ann was tenacious in day to day life. She always looked for ways to improve the lives and surroundings for her family, she could manage a budget and stretch a dollar more than anyone, and was driven to make a happy home and a good life for her family. She was a lifelong reader and researcher. While she held some part-time positions in teaching and in a medical office once her children were older, her passion in life was to be an incredible homemaker, the rock of her family, and the center of their lives.
Her energy and enthusiasm for life, her sense of humor, and her love of being together with family and lifelong friends will be greatly missed.
Carol Ann is survived by her husband, Stanley (Ted) Johnson, Jr. of New Providence NJ and their three children; Laura Chidlow (Carl) of Alexandria VA, Mark S. Johnson of Phoenixville PA, and Heather J. Marotta (Patrick) of Summit NJ. Also surviving her are her sister Margie Fishback of Geneva NY; and five loving grandchildren CJ and Hannah Chidlow; and Lorenzo, Valentina, and Leonardo (“Leo”) Marotta. A private burial service will take place at the Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury, MA. May she rest in peace.