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Zelma Jean (Kelly) Johnson

July 13, 1929 ~ November 25, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Zelma Johnson Obituary

Zelma Jean Johnson, 94, passed peacefully on November 25, 2023, in Cottonwood, Arizona.  Jean was born on July 13, 1929, in Alma, Arkansas to George Earl and Flora A. (Bell) Kelly.  She was the youngest of three children, following her sister, Juanita Marie Kelly and brother, Charles Odell Kelly.  Her father passed away a day after her 14th birthday. Her mother remarried a few years later, to Carl Trout, who was very good to their family. 

Jean married William Allen Johnson, “Johnny,” on December 21, 1956.  A few years later they welcomed Tonya Dianne to complete their family. They spent Tonya’s early childhood in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  It was during this time that missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught their family.  They were baptized and became an active part of their church.  Later they packed everything up and moved to Cottonwood, Arizona.  Jean enjoyed living in Cottonwood and made friends among church members and neighbors.   She helped coach the young women in basketball and even won a championship trophy one year.   

She worked at Fairways in Cottonwood, sewing underclothing, for 8 years.  Later she worked as the Activities Director for the Page Springs RV Resort.  She loved planning crafts, activities, and events for the visitors.  She also loved making friends and seeing many of them year after year.  This job was a perfect fit and was even better because she was able to work alongside her daughter, Tonya and son-in-law, Mike DelaVega. 

Jean and Johnny loved to go camping and spent lots of time fishing together and with friends.  Jean loved fishing with her best friend, Maxine. Jean also loved playing Bingo, was a voracious reader, a wonderful cook, and enjoyed watching baseball.  She continued doing her crafts for many years.   

Jean was beautiful both inside and out.  She always looked so well put together. Her hair was always kept flawless by her friend and stylist, Sophie, to whom she went for years. She always had her make up and pink lipstick on, even until the very end.  She was quick-witted and could tell stories and jokes like no other.  Her mind was sharp.  She loved her family and grieved deeply when her daughter, Tonya, passed away 3 years ago.  She loved her granddaughters and great grandkids.  She was kindhearted and gracious but wasn’t afraid to tell you how things were.  She had close friends whom she loved, and they loved her. 

Jean is survived by her granddaughters, Mindi Brooks and Melody Amis; grandchildren, Destiny, Jordan, Madelyn, Abigail, and Asher; her former son-in-law (who she claimed as a son), Mike DelaVega and nieces, Carla and Rhonda.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Johnny; daughter, Tonya; parents, Earl and Flora; and siblings, Juanita and Odell. 

Jean fought the good fight, believed in her Savior Jesus Christ and loved fiercely.  She will be dearly missed. 

A Graveside Service will be held Friday, December 8, 2023, at 11am at Valley View Cemetery in Clarkdale, Arizona.  She will be laid to rest with her daughter, Tonya and next to her husband, Johnny.  A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following at La Fonda Restaurant, Jean’s favorite place to eat, where Lunch Special #1 will be ordered in her honor. 

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Graveside Service
December 8, 2023

11:00 AM
Valley View Cemetery Clarkdale, Arizona


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