Cover photo for Gloria Mae (Rhea)  Johnson's Obituary
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1937 Gloria 2023

Gloria Mae (Rhea) Johnson

August 26, 1937 — June 21, 2023

Gloria Mae Rhea Johnson of Waco, Texas passed away peacefully on June 21, 2023 at the age of 85. Graveside services will be at 10am, Saturday, June 24, 2023 at Waco Memorial Park with Chaplin David Stamile.

Gloria was a strong independent woman who lived life on her own terms from an early age. Born to David Bunkley Rhea and Lora Mae Adcock Rhea in 1937, she was raised on farms and ranches in Central Texas. Her escapades were notorious. They ranged from putting shot gun shells in the space heater “to see what would happen”, accepting any dare from her cousins, driving into Waco as a young teen to hear Elvis Presley sing at the Elite Cafe, to having the “audacity” to date a Yankee Air Force Officer. There was never a dull moment for her.

She moved to Waco after graduating from Mart High School to work in administration at Hillcrest Hospital and model for Bauer-McCann Department Store. Married to Charles James Johnson of New York in 1956, Gloria traveled the states and the world as a career officer’s wife as well as a mother. Upon returning to her home state of Texas in the early 1970’s, she fulfilled one of her dreams by attending college at McLennan Community College. In 1980 she graduated summa cum laude from Tarleton State University with a Bachelors in Sociology. Gloria used her life time of experience and education to hold several positions in the area with the American Heart Association, ARC of McLennan County, Herff Jones, and Paul Mitchell as well as managing her own small gift product company.

Following retirement for both of them, Gloria and Charles travelled experiencing the joys of Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, and many other beautiful locations. They were strong supporters of the Shriners, Daughters of the Nile, and MOAA. They enjoyed meeting as well as traveling with several organizations. They even took ballroom dancing to a whole new level with their stylish performances. Married for 61 years, they certainly had their moments. Charles passed in 2017 leaving Gloria to forge a new path by herself.

In later years Gloria lost her remaining vision but was able to say she kept it long enough to see her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Gloria continued to advocate for what she believed through her last days. She did things her way - always.

Gloria is survived by her two daughters Celeste Sheehy (Matthew) of Texas and Valerie Laubach (Michael) of Vermont; Grandchildren: Jason Sheehy (Phylicia), Justin Sheehy, Joshua Sheehy, Jeremy Sheehy (fiancée Sarah Zettler), Alexis Anderson (Ben) and Aileen Murphy Laubach; Great grandchildren: Jedidiah, Phoebe, and Jubilee Sheehy; as well as numerous cousins.

The family would like to thank friends and caregivers for all of their support over the years. You are amazing and wonderful people. Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or the charity of your choice.

Registry for Gloria Mae Johnson

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Waco Memorial Park Cemetery

6623 Interstate 35, Robinson, TX 76706

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