Mary Johnson, 90,

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, April 14, 2011

NEW JERSEY, April 14 – Mary Woodfin Hazlegrove Johnson, 90, of Freehold, New Jersey, died Friday, April 8, 2011, at the Fountain View Care Center in Lakewood, New Jersey. She was the widow of William Frederick John Johnson Sr., a self-employed mason and volunteer fireman of Freehold, New Jersey. She was a faithful member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Freehold. According to local lore, the church was used as a hospital for Continental Army soldiers wounded in the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.

Mrs. Johnson was born June 8, 1920 at her family's farm, Forkland, in Cumberland County, to Joseph Winston and Mary Ellen Ligon Hazlegrove. In her early life, she attended Guinea Presbyterian Church in the Angola neighborhood. The youngest of four siblings, she was predeceased by three brothers, William Perkins Hazlegrove of Roanoke and Joseph An-derson Hazlegrove Sr. and David George Hazlegrove of Cumberland County.

As a young girl, it was her job to listen to the radio for the scores of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox baseball games and have them ready for her brothers when they came in from the family farm's tobacco and cornfields.

Mrs. Johnson, always a southern lady, met the love of her life, “Bill,” at the beginning of World War II when she was a student at State Teachers College at Farmville (now Longwood University) and he was assigned to Camp Pickett in Black-stone. Their first date was a movie at the old State Theater in Farmville. After she graduated and Bill had returned from service in the China-Burma-India Theater, they were married at Brown's Church in Cumberland County on January 19, 1946.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Johnson taught first grade at John Randolph School in Cumber-land County. She also taught in Englishtown and the West Freehold Schools in New Jersey and later in life served as a school bus driver for the Freehold Regional High School District. She was employed for many years by Britt's Department Store in Freehold and volunteered at St. Peter's Episcopal Church's thrift store.

She is survived by a son, William F. Johnson Jr. and wife, Sylvia of Tom's River, New Jersey; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Locally, she is survived by three generations of nephews, nieces, and cousins, the Hazlegroves and Ligons, of Cumberland County and Roanoke.

Visitations were held on April 11 at the Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold. A funeral service was conducted during the evening visiting hours.

A private memorial service and interment will be held at the Hazlegrove family cemetery at Forkland in Cumberland County on Sunday, April 17, at 6 p.m. The Reverend Dale Brown will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

Doyne-Burger-Davis Funeral Home, Farmville, is in charge of local arrangements.