Eliza Jane Lawhorn Johnson, 98, of Vandergrift, died Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at her sister’s residence in Ford City.
Eliza was born Sept. 6, 1922, in Todd County, Ky., the daughter of Wiley H. and Carrie Lee (Cross) Andrews.
Eliza was a member of Wilson Chapel CME Church, North Vandergrift, and the former Phillips Chapel CME Church, Ford City.
She was an active member of Prince Hall Shriners Sahara No. 9 Daughters of Isis and a member and past Secretary of the Order of the Eastern Star, Rosewood Chapter 77, of Vandergrift.
Noted for their political and social activism, Eliza and husband, Frutie Johnson, were fondly referred to as Winnie and Nelson by family and friends.
They were dedicated supporters of the work of the Alle-Kiski Chapter of the NAACP and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
After Frutie’s death in 1993, Eliza continued her activism in pursuit of the cleanup of the nuclear waste dumping in Parks Township that contributed to the cancer deaths of her husband, Frutie, and her beloved daughter, Deborah Lawhorn.
Eliza loved traveling nationwide during the early years of her marriage to Frutie Johnson.
She also enjoyed shopping, reading, playing cards, and doing word search to keep her brain sharp in her later years.
Most of all, Eliza enjoyed family and was a beloved “second mother” to stepson, Richard Johnson, the Lawhorn, Ware, and Brundidge nieces and nephews and their families, as well as Josephine Andrews Russell and the late Timothy Russell. With her sisters, she taught us all, by example, to be responsible, loving, and compassionate.
Eliza was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands: Lewis Lawhorn and Frutie Johnson; her beloved daughter, Deborah Lawhorn, her sisters: Idella Gary, Alice Ware and Johnnie Brundidge; and her nephew, Timothy Russell.
She shared home-going with her nephew, William Brundidge.
Loving memories of Eliza will be cherished by the survivors of the family village she nurtured and by her devoted friends, neighbors and caregivers.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Deborah Elaine Lawhorn Scholarship Fund at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 3500 Victoria St., Victoria Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
Visitation will be held on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, at the Welch Funeral Service LLC, 1032 Fourth Ave., Ford City.
Funeral services will be private.
Internment will be in the Ford City Cemetery.
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