Anne Melville Johnson

Anne Melville Johnson of Nashville, Tennessee, and most recently, of Newnan, Georgia, passed away peacefully on Aug. 9, 2013. 

She was born in Baltimore to a Virginia mother and a Maryland father on May 3, 1922. Her parents, George Horner Melville and Dorothy Hastings Freeman Melville Barron, predeceased her, as did her husband, James Edward Johnson, and her brothers, George Horner Melville Jr. and James Atlee Melville.

At the age of seven, she moved with her family to New Rochelle, New York, when her father opened a New York office for the family-run Melville Woolen Company. In New Rochelle she was an avid athlete. She rode horses, was a member of a horseback girl scout troop, sailed on Long Island Sound and was captain of her tennis team at New Rochelle High School. In 1940, she matriculated to Randolph Women's College in Lynchburg, Virginia. At Randolph Macon she was again captain of her tennis team, majored in Latin and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

She wanted to participate in the war effort, but she was unable to join the Women's Air Corp because of inexperience and age. So she entered Johns Hopkins University in the first class of graduate school nurses in the country. The war soon ended and she met the love of her life, Ed Johnson, a snappy lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. After fewer than a dozen dates, they married in a formal Naval wedding, and she left nursing behind.

Anne followed her husband to his jobs managing and later being president of Coca-Cola bottling plants in Biloxi, Mobile and finally Nashville. Her years in Nashville consisted of raising four children, playing tennis and becoming an antiques dealer at age 55. Finding a real vocation was what she had always dreamed of, and, after her husband, antiques were her second love. She played tennis well into her 80s, and at one time was rated in the number four amateur position in mixed doubles.

She is survived by children, James Edward Johnson Jr. of San Jose, California, Anne Johnson de Zevallos of Bull Shoals, Arkansas, Lynn Melville Johnson of Nashville, Tennessee; and son and son-in law, George Melville Johnson and Morris Preston Steward of Newnan, Georgia. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren; several great grandchildren; her sister, Jean Moore Melville Quimby Magnusson of Cape Cod, Massachusetts; her brother, Douglass Freeman Melville of Old Saybrook, Connecticut; and her loving cavalier King Charles spaniel and final companion, Zack.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at Arlington National Cemetery, where she will be interred with her husband.

No memorial is necessary but may be made to the James Edward Johnson Scholarship Fund at The Georgia Tech Foundation, 760 Spring St., N.W. Atlanta, GA 30308. The scholarship is funded for disadvantaged entering Georgia Tech freshman from the City of Atlanta.

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