Kathryn K. Johnson, 98, of Vida, Montana, passed away at Aspen Meadows in Billings, Montana, on Feb. 13, 2021. She was born April 18, 1922, in Jamestown, North Carolina, the youngest child of J. N. and Ida Jordan Kersey. She graduated from Jamestown High School as salutatorian and attended Jones Business College in High Point, North Carolina, where she was the first person in her class to be interviewed for a job — which she accepted. Before marriage, she worked in the office of Silver-Knit Hosiery in High Point and later in Greensboro at Dixie Belle Textiles.
On Oct. 1, 1946, Kathryn married Melvin P. Johnson of Vida, Montana, at the parsonage of Mitchell’s Grove Methodist Church in High Point, North Carolina. They farmed in the Vida and Circle area of Montana from 1946 until 1976 when they retired from active farming; in 1981, they moved from the farm home southwest of Vida into Vida.
They always spent winters in North Carolina and Florida. Kay was a member of Mitchell’s Grove United Methodist Church most of her life and, in her youth, was the assistant pianist. She was a 4-H leader for several years and enjoyed reading, piano, baking and was a Gold Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League. Kay made delicious fudge and was often called the “Fudge Lady of Vida.” She also had a terrific sense of humor and loved a good giggle. She was a mentor and great example to many in her close walk with the Lord. She loved animals, especially cats, and always had a cat that owned her, the last one being Miss Priss.
Sharing and generosity were foremost in Kay and Melvin’s lives. Whenever you visited them or they visited you, you always left with baked treats, vegetables or other goodies. Kay and Melvin had a unique gift of gathering family and/or friends together. They hosted many breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cruises for nieces, nephews and special friends. It was a great joy to share time together. On the cruises, niece Joy Hansen White would delight them on talent night as she sang the Ray Boltz song “Thank You (for Giving to the Lord)” — making memories to last a lifetime.
Kay is survived by numerous nieces and nephews in Montana, North Carolina and California, all of whom she loved very much. A niece, Jean Hansen Nedrud of Bozeman, Montana, was very dear, as she spent many summers on the farm with Aunt Kay and Uncle Mel. A great-niece and namesake, Meri Kathryn Surrett (Nettel) of High Point, North Carolina, was special and Jan Hansen Wattles of Billings, Montana, born on Melvin’s birthday, was their godchild.
Kay was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin P Johnson; parents; brothers, Leighton, D. L. “Dan,” John and Jay; sisters, Nina Gladden Rollins, Chineta Hill, Esther Ingram, and Ada Kersey; nieces, Natalie Ingram Whitely, Peggy Kersey White; nephews, W.C. Kersey and Jerry Kersey.
There will be no services in Montana, but there will be a memorial video to share. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org after March 15. Services will be held in North Carolina at a later date. Interment will be in Floral Garden Park and Cemetery, High Point, North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Jamestown Alumni Association, PO Box 1345, Jamestown, NC 27282 or to a nearby Humane Society.