April 1926 – January 2012
Jill attended Papatoetoe Baptist Church in Auckland from her conversion in 1954 until her admission to the Edmund Hillary Retirement Village Hospital in October 2007. She was incapacitated by Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Auckland, Jill was the twin daughter of Bill and Celia Watson of Mt Eden. She is survived by her twin brother, Jack; eldest brother, Trevor; and her elder brother, Lloyd.
Jill met Ray Johnson, an Anglican lad from a farming family in the Whau Valley, Whangarei, in 1943. He was training to be a teacher at the Auckland Teachers Training College.
She was a child of the Depression years, which left her with the legacy of helping others. Jill was always ready to help, especially if it involved looking after children.
Her son, Bryan, was born in November 1949, an only child until sister Leonie joined the family in 1961. In 1953 Ray and Jill moved from Devonport to build a new home in Papatoetoe.
Jill was president of the Papatoetoe Women’s Fellowship for most of the 50 plus years she attended the church. She assisted with the church crèche and the nursery, and the Friendship Centre working in the kitchen and making senior citizens welcome – not only from the church but those in the community.
She loved attending the women’s Bible study group and an evening home group. Both Jill and Ray attended for 15 years until they moved to the retirement village.
Jill was sociable, always befriending new, lonely and needy women who came to the church. She worked part-time at Foodtown for many years as a checkout operator, which enabled her to check out the news of the church mothers as they came through.
She was active with the Papatoetoe Scrabble Club and played tournaments in Norfolk Island.
Jill’s faith in Jesus Christ was exemplified in her unconditional love, for which Jesus was her model. The legacy of her life lives in those she loved.
Jill was a fantastic mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was always ready to listen and give wise counsel. Her children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren are a testimony to her wisdom.
– The Johnson family