Biography: “Give people their flowers while they’re alive; they can’t smell them when they’re dead.”—Nellie J.
Nellie “Nellie J” George Johnson was born on August 16th, 1918 to Earlest and Lucinda George in Harlowe, North Carolina.
On the afternoon of Sunday June 13th, 2021, Nellie J. Ascended into Heaven While Sleeping Peacefully at The Dawn Greene Hospice at Mary Manning Walsh Home in New York City. She was visited daily and
comforted by I Love You’s and heartfelt words from her loving family up until her very last day on earth. She was 102 years young.
At an early age everyone around Nellie J knew that she was something special. She was the youngest of 8 children: 4 brothers and 3 sisters. Early in life Nellie J accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She became a member of the Piney Grove AME Zion Church in NC where she had her only child, her wonderful Daughter Odessa. At the age of 19 Nellie J made her way to NYC, where she joined Union Baptist Church in Harlem NY.
During her time in the Big Apple, she met the love of her life Alfred “Johnson” Johnson and they married in 1947. She worked as a seamstress, which paved the way for her to become an entrepreneur opening her own soul food restaurant in Harlem NY. After closing her restaurant, her and Johnson made a life in Richmond, VA. This is where she spent her adult years planting her roots back in the south. There she joined The Heart Ministries of Richmond, where she served as the Mother of The Church and was dearly loved by each member.
Nellie J had a famous saying “I’m holding on” and she truly lived her entire life doing just that. Holding onto God, faith and family. She lived!
Nellie J was preceded in death by her Husband Alfred Johnson, 4 brothers, 3 sisters, Son-in Laws William Howard and John W Allen and Her Dogs Lady and Prince.
Nellie leaves behind to carry on her legacy her daughter Odessa G Allen, Grand-children Michelle Howard and Steven Howard (Camille Howard), Great Granddaughters Damila Howard and Deidra Smart as well as great-great grands, great nieces, great nephew, Great- Great nieces and nephews, cousins and a host of bonus family and friends turned family. So many people loved this amazing woman, with an infectious spirit she was truly one of a kind.