Ruth Reaves Johnson, age 94, the eldest daughter of James Bradley Reaves, Sr and Kate Gore Reaves, passed away of natural causes on March 22, 2021. Born in Clarendon but living most all of her adult life in Whiteville, she worked in the insurance business until her retirement. She married the love of her life, Benjamin (Bennie) F Johnson, Sr, in 1951 before losing him much too soon in 1967 at the age of 44.
Ruth and Bennie had two sons, Benjamin (Biff) F Johnson, Jr and Richard Bradley (Brad) Johnson. Biff resides in Redding, CT with his wife, Carol. They have two children, Travis (Laura) of Brooklyn, NY and Lindsay of Los Angeles, CA. Brad lives in Whiteville with his wife, Anna, and they have two daughters, Erica (Josh) of Charleston, SC and Lindsey (CJ) of Wilmington, NC. She was also great grandmother to Owen Bradley Turner, who brightened Ruth’s last few years on earth.
Ruth’s siblings, JB Reaves, Jean Michael, Richard (Sprunt) Reaves and Wilma Dicus, are awaiting her arrival. Their offspring and Ruth’s nieces and nephews were her children, too, maintaining close contact with her up until her death. Her eldest niece, Gerri, was the daughter she never had always engaging her in deep conversation to better understand the times in which she grew up and the heritage of our family. Kay, Dixie, Gwyn, Nancy and Karen called and visited often always brightening her day.
She also maintained close contact with the family she married into, most of whom resided in Bladen County. She was determined that her sons would remain a presence within their father’s family. Her sisters in law, Catherine Suggs and Rose Vaught, were particularly dear to her as was her niece, Shirley.
Ruth was a devoted wife and mother, raising her sons in Whiteville with the help of her mother. Her Sunday dinners were legendary and, most often, included the best fried chicken known to humankind, rice and gravy, butter beans, creamed corn and, of course, her homemade biscuits and strawberry jam. She was a regular visitor and traveler to baseball and football fields and basketball gyms when her sons were young. And when her sons left the family home for college and then careers, she could finally tend to her garden when not caring for her elderly mother, until Granny Kate’s death in 1983. On most any Friday night for many years, you could find Ruth at Dale’s Seafood with her running mates Mary Sue Hooks, Murline Britt and Faye Britt. Though they were responsible adults with many decades of life lived, Ruth was always worried about Brad when he went on hunting and fishing trips and Biff when he traveled to exotic areas of the world in his work. Always a worrying mother but one of the many reasons we loved her!
Her family will miss her dearly. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory to a nonprofit organization of your choosing that is doing positive work to support a cause important to you. If you have no preference then please consider either First Baptist Church of Whiteville, NC or Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice Center in Whiteville.
A live feed of Mrs. Johnson's service will be on the Peacock Funeral Home & Crematory Official Facebook Page beginning shortly before 11:00 am Saturday, March 27, 2021. Please copy and paste the following link into your search bar for access to the feed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Johnson, please visit our floral store.