Mary (Catherine) Watts Johnson


Mary (Catherine) Watts Johnson, age 95, of Painted Post, NY passed away Monday, October 4, 2021 surrounded by her family, in the house she and her husband built themselves after World War II. 


Mary was born November 1, 1925 in Millersburg, PA, the daughter of William and Sara (Holtzman) Watts.  She married Arthur Johnson at The Little Church Around the Corner in NYC on February 7, 1948. She was predeceased by him on June 14, 1998. 


She joined the Women's Army Corps (WAC's) from 1943 to 1945 and was honorably discharged when they found out that in order to serve her country during WWII, she had lied about her age in order to enlist.  She was employed by Dr. Chimera in Corning, NY as a bookkeeper until she had children, at which time she became a homemaker. She was a Girl Scout leader before having children and then became a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader for her son and daughter. She was a member of Hospital Chapter C for many years and a 70-year member of the Painted Post First Baptist Church. After the 1972 Flood, she drove a Salvation Army van delivering food and beverages to people cleaning and rebuilding their homes, working as a team with her daughter, hotwiring the van to restart it each time it stopped. She graduated from Millersburg High School in 1943 and attended Business School in Harrisburg, PA.  She asked us many times to let friends know that she was so happy to have "lived the American Dream" and that she "had a wonderful life."


She is survived by her son, Dr. Eric (Julie) Johnson of Greene, NY; daughter, Elise (Gerald Schmidt) Johnson-Schmidt of Corning; grandchildren: Trevor Johnson (Geena Joseph) of Binghamton, NY; Kirsten Johnson (about to be married to Ryan Norton) of Norwalk, CT; Leah Schmidt (Gabe Kelley) of Richmond, VA; and Dana Schmidt (Dr. Jon Lash) of Huntington, WV.


She is predeceased by her parents, William and Sara Watts, and her husband, Arthur Johnson.


The funeral will be held on Tuesday, Oct 12th at 1:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Painted Post, 130 West Water Street in Painted Post with Rev. Gary McCaslin and Rev. Richard Rose officiating. A reception immediately following will take place in the Fellowship Hall at PPFBC. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Painted Post.


Memorial donations may be made in Mary’s name to The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes (OSFL), Painted Post First Baptist Church and Corning Meals on Wheels.


Mary’s family entrusted her care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.