Sunday, July 1, 2012

Susie Johnson, 1916-1974

Susie Johnson,
My Maternal Grandmother

Susie Johnson, my maternal grandmother, was the daughter of Robert "Bob" Johnson and Sarah Herrin.  She was born 01 July 1916 in Marion County (present day Lamar County), Mississippi.  She is listed with her parents on the 1920 and 1930 census records of Lamar County, Mississippi.  

On 04 July 1936 in Forrest County, Mississippi, Susie married Woodrow Wilson Simmons, the son of James El Simmons and Harriet Woodard.  

Marriage Record- Woodrow W. Simmons
and Susie Johnson, Book 19, Page 393

Susie and her husband resided in Lamar County, Mississippi between the small communities of Pine Burr and Baxterville.  From their union, four children were born- Alton, Lula Sue, Gertrude and Elton.  Susie and Woody's marriage officially ended in 06 November 1951 when their divorce was made final.  Woody was absent most of the time, working and residing across the country.  Susie was left to raise their four children on her own, but thankfully, had the assistance of family members who lived nearby.  

According to my late mother, Lula Sue Simmons, Susie worked as a seamstress for many years at the old Reliance Manufacturing Company in Columbia, Mississippi.  The company then produced men's dress shirts and pajamas, then later expanded their clothing lines.  Mom said that her mother would rise early in the mornings, go to work at her public job, then return home in the evenings and work some more.  Susie had a hard life while struggling to support her family during the absence of her husband.  

On 26 July 1952, Susie married Warner Tisdale Ramshur, the son of Thomas Jefferson Ramshur and Corena A. Knight.  He was the man that my siblings and I called "Grandpa T" and was a big part of our lives while we were young.  Susie and W.T. moved around quite often, residing one time in Columbia briefly and in the Improve community of Mississippi.  They also lived near my parents for a while when we lived in Westwego, Louisiana.  Susie and W.T.'s first marriage ended in divorce and they stayed apart for a while, but years later they remarried.  Their second marriage occurred on 26 September 1961 in Marion County, Mississippi.  

Marriage Record- Susie Simmons and
W.T. Ramshur, Marion County, MS

Marriage License- Second marriage of Susie Johnson
and W.T. Ramshur, Marion County, MS

Susie and W.T. Ramshur remained married until her death on 18 June 1974.  Susie died at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi as a result of a pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lung).  She had been hospitalized for three weeks prior to her death.  She was 57 years old.  Prior to her illness and subsequent death, Susie had cared for her husband W.T. for a while when he became debilitated from a stroke.  The stroke affected his speech and left him paralyzed on one side of his body, and he was chair ridden then eventually bedridden for years before his death.  Susie tried to care for him at home as she didn't want to place him in a nursing home, but as her health began to diminish, she was left with no choice but to have someone else care for W.T.  He was placed in a personal home which had only a few elderly residents, and he received good care until his death on 19 September 1991.

Death Certificate- Susie (Johnson) Simmons Ramshur

Susie Johnson was laid to rest in the Pine Burr Church of Christ cemetery, Lamar County, Mississippi.  I visit her grave site every now and then and I often remember the times spent with her.  More can be read about her in the posts below, click on links to view.

Children of Susie Johnson and Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Simmons:
i.    Alton Simmons, married (1) Joyce Thornhill  (2)  Sylvia Thompson  (3) Elizabeth Darlene Horn
ii.   Lula Sue Simmons, married (1) Charles Laverne Stogner  (2) Frank Dalton Powell, Sr
iii.  Gertrude Simmons, married (1) Berley Alton Powell  (2) James Wiginton
iv.  Elton Simmons, married (1) Barbara Moore  (2) Margaret "Peggy" Sturrock  (3) Helen Donaldson

See also:

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