Barbara Jane (Edgemon) Johnson, beloved mother and friend, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of April 8, 2017. She was fondly known to her friends as “Bobbie” and is survived by her 3 sons, Carl, Chris and Mike Lawrence, her brother Stan Edgemon and her daughter-in-law Patti Lanham. She was predeceased by her loving second husband, Orange County Sheriff, William Johnson of El Toro.
Bobbie was born in Grand Rapids Michigan on May 12, 1931. She attended Stephens College in Missouri, earning her teaching credential. In the early 1950’s, she moved to California and taught K-12 school in Santa Ana. She later married and helped start her first husband’s business, Terra West, while happily raising her 3 sons in El Toro.
She eventually returned to her passion for teaching, and for many years specialized in helping children with special needs in the Saddleback Valley School District. Later in her career, she devoted her time to working with developmentally disabled adults at Saddleback Community Enterprises. She was treasured and revered amongst her peers and clients as a compassionate leader.
A true humanitarian, she volunteered as often as she could, including work with the Assistance League of Orange County, the Kiwanis Club and even became a Deacon at Geneva Presbyterian Church. A woman of faith, she held fast to her beliefs and her generosity and love was felt strongly amongst her friends, family and the various organizations she devoted her time to.
She was a best friend to many, and everyone was welcomed and adored in her presence. Her passion and joy was felt in every room, evidenced by that sweet smile and ever-present sparkle in her eyes. Her huge heart made everyone feel special.
Bobbie had an amazing sense of style and even modeled in her later years for Draper’s & Damon’s Clothing Store in Laguna Woods. She loved to travel and entertain, was a natural “social director” and amazing cook. She also enjoyed knitting, golfing and dancing.
She particularly loved gardening, inspiring her to plant her entire backyard with butterfly friendly foliage, an amazing sight to behold. “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly*,” sums up perfectly a classy lady, whose gentle way and seeds of generosity touched everyone she came into contact with.
We will miss our beloved Bobbie. Let’s remember her dancing in the garden, amidst the butterflies and flowers, and let her sweetness inspire our own acts of charity and kindness.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye