LCF Donor Profile: Shirley A. Johnson
Posted on 05/29/2019
In 2017, an unrestricted fund was established through a bequest from the estate of Shirley A. Johnson to address the community’s most urgent needs and emerging opportunities.
Shirley was born in Illinois, where she was raised on a farm, along with her many siblings. She came to Newark in 1954 to join her brother, who had married a Newark native. Shirley is remembered for her generosity, community involvement, sense of humor and dedication to her family.
Shirley loved her career in real estate. She was known for assisting clients personally with making down payments to afford their homes, reducing her commissions, and even paying for radon remediation. She obtained her real estate license when her children were young. They fondly remember accompanying their mother to many house showings and closings. She began her career in real estate with Herb Howarth Realtor 21, and then with Dick Love Real Estate. To meet her clients’ needs, it was not unusual for Shirley to work from early morning to midnight. Eventually, she was owner and partner of Guanciale and Johnson Real Estate for 20 years.
Putting others before herself, she was a long-time member of the Zonta Club and a Licking Memorial Hospital board member. She was also an active member of the First United Methodist Church, where she often prepared dinners for the homeless. For many years, she taught Sunday School at the Neal Avenue United Methodist Church. She enjoyed supporting Weathervane Playhouse and loved to walk the bike path every day.
Even though she was a top-performing real estate agent and an active community volunteer, Shirley Johnson never hesitated to drop everything when it came to her family. Her two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren were her top priorities.
Shirley’s caring gift to the Licking County Foundation will support a variety of needs in the community she loved for years to come.