Dorothy Pearl Rutledge Johnson, 94, passed away on March 21, 2023, at her home in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Dorothy (Dottie) is survived by three daughters, Sheri Staten of Lebanon, TN, Pamela Sharp (Larry) of Bowling Green, KY, and Melinda Greer (John, Jr.) of Watertown, TN; six grandchildren Summerlee Diane Staten, B.J. Staten (Alisha), Karalesa Greer DiFabio (Ben), Matthew Milton Greer (Becky), Michael David Greer (Blair), and Erin Dillard Coomes (Andy); thirteen great-grandchildren; Jack, Elliott, and Sloane (Matthew Greer); Kolton Reverman, Austin and AJ Staten (BJ); Charlotte and Leighton DiFabio (Karalesa); Audrey, Liam, and Emma Coomes (Erin); and Paxton and Pollyanna Greer (Michael Greer); and many nieces and nephews.
Dottie was born to Emma G. (Santi) and James A. Rutledge near Nashville. At the age of five, her daddy passed away. He owned a grocery store on a busy corner of Nashville, which is today adjacent to Music Row.
She was raised by her loving mother, Emma, along with her three brothers Jimmy, Clarence (C.A.), and John A.; and two sisters, Helen Neely (Leslie), and Mary VanHook (Robert). They have all preceded her in death. This was a very loving family with so many beautiful, fond memories for all sisters, brothers, their husbands and wives, and later in time all of the nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved going to every event given by the family.
Not long after WW II, she married her long-time friend and high school sweetheart, Howard Milton Johnson, from Lebanon. He served in the United States Navy and was indeed very handsome in his uniform. As Milton made his way from California to Nashville, there was a delay in Memphis. Unable to wait any longer to see his Dottie, he hired a taxi to drive him all the way to Nashville. They were wed in Nashville at the First Baptist Church on October 27, 1946. Milton worked until his retirement at Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. in Lebanon.
For the first part of her daughter’s lives, she was a homemaker. When the girls were older, she worked at Hall’s Furniture Store, then later at Lux Time Division as the Receptionist, then was promoted to the accounting department until she retired. Dot and Milton raised three daughters, Sheri, Pam and Melinda. They were longtime members of Barton’s
Creek Baptist Church, where they lived on a farm nearby. Then, they were long-time members of First Baptist Church, Lebanon until their passing. Dottie taught Sunday School and Milton served as Deacon at both churches for many years.
In the early 1980s, she and Milton bought an old small farmhouse with 40 acres in the Tucker’s Crossroad community where they moved the old home as a structure for a larger home on the hill. When she retired, she became a volunteer for-now Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, first known as UMC. There she was known as “Little Dot” (a nickname given by one of her closest friends and volunteers), as many remember this little bitty woman rushing down the hallways, wheeling patients to the various rooms and directing families to see their loved ones. She served over 25 years as a volunteer. She remained close to her fellow volunteers and church friends until her passing.
Her caregivers were very important to her and were considered family. Prior to her last ICU stay, she still called her family, volunteers, caregivers, and church friends on the phone. This was an experience many can appreciate as she and most friends could not hear each other and they shouted and talked over one another, but no one minded. Everyone loved her and she loved everyone.
She was a true disciple for Jesus and loved to tell everyone about her love for Him and His love for her and everyone in the world. Her faith was everlasting. She loved to sing hymns to God and hear her daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren sing her favorite hymns to her. During her last ICU stay, she sang a hymn for the nurses. They were truly amazed and touched by her faith. Closer to her passing, she was unable to speak well or sing with her family, but they often watched as she lovingly “mouthed” the words with them. She will remain in our hearts and minds always.
Our family knows that she has been gloriously welcomed into the arms of Jesus. She has been reunited with all our loved ones who have gone before. They shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Graveside Burial Service will be held on: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:30 am, Wilson County Memorial Gardens, 618 South Maple St., Lebanon, Tennessee.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11 am in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church, 227 East Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee.
Dottie’s favorite charity was Covenant House, a homeless shelter in NYC. Donations can be mailed to this address: Covenant House, 460 West 41st St, New York, NY 10036.
PARTLOW FUNERAL CHAPEL in care of arrangements. 615-444-7007 www.partlowchapel.com
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