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Johnnie Mae (nee Massey) Henderson

Obituary for Johnnie Mae (nee Massey) Henderson

October 6, 1938 - June 25, 2017
| Age 78

Obituary

Johnnie Mae Henderson, nee Massey, died quietly on Sunday, June 25, 2017. She was born October 3, 1938 in Philadelphia, PA to John Edward Massey and an unknown woman, and was adopted by Olive Ruth Pierce Massey.

Johnnie, in one word, was BRILLIANT. Sharp-minded and sharp-tongued, she was creative in everything, including her misbehavior. While visiting cousins in rural South Carolina, she was denied permission to ride the horse, so she rode the cow instead. She loved playing piano, singing, writing prose, poetry and song lyrics, traveling, science, nature, gardening, and African-American and Native-American history.

For 37 years, she taught even the most unruly elementary school children in one of Philadelphia's toughest neighborhoods, rarely, if ever, raising her voice.
Johnnie made friends everywhere, and always had room in her home and heart for strays: relatives, friends, or abandoned kittens.

After retiring, Johnnie continued serving the community. She cofounded the Saturday Academy, volunteered with Center in the Park and the Senior Environment Corps and worked part-time for Mothers in Charge. All while caring for her disabled eldest son, Roger Todd Flint, who predeceased her.

Johnnie is survived by her daughter, Gina Lorraine Wolfe, her son, James Leonard Henderson, Jr., 4 grandchildren, Tiffany, Julius, Kyle and Kaysha, many relatives, friends, 2 ex-husbands and a failed service dog.

Johnnie touched many lives and will be deeply missed by all.

Relatives and friends are invited to Johnnie's Life Celebration Wednesday, July 5, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m., followed by her Funeral Service, 11:00 a.m., at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3529 Haverford Ave., Phila. Interment at Greenmount Cemetery.

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Arrangements By

John F. Givnish Funeral Home

10975 Academy Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
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