Ardena Marilyn Myers Johnson, daughter of the late James and Vera Myers was born February 3, 1938. After a brief illness, Ardena went from labor to reward on November 6, 2021.
Ardena was born and raised in the 1600 block of Abbott Street. Though it was a small street, it was truly a village that raised the people. Ardena attended Charles Carroll Elementary School, Dunbar Junior High School, and later graduated from Dunbar Senior High School. She furthered her education and received a BA degree in Education from Bowie State College. She, also, completed some advanced studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Upon completion of her undergraduate requirements, Ardena began an accomplished career in the field of elementary education for more than three decades. Ardena taught in Prince George's County and Baltimore County. Her last assignment was Woodmoor Elementary School. Ardena was so connected to her students that she often named her students the “Johnson Jewels.” Upon retirement after 31 years of teaching, she maintained her love for children and education, and tutored from home and at Simply Children tutoring school under the leadership of Myra Harris. She stayed connected with her former students through calls and letters, even during holidays and special events. Ardena will always be an Educator.
Ardena was very civic minded and remained true to the cause of Civil Rights. She was a dedicated volunteer for racial equality on the local and national level. She received extraordinary joy from her participation in the March on Washington. Ardena was raised in a strong Christian home. She joined Faith Baptist Church, and was a dedicated member, always willing to serve. It was no surprise that she was an integral part of the Christian Education Ministry of the church. She was an active leader and teacher in Sunday School and New Member Ministry. She was a Vacation Bible School teacher and a teacher in the Christ and Knowledge Camp. She extended herself and was very active in the Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Reclamation Ministry, and the Women’s League. Her love of music, lead her to join the Simon Williamson Memorial Choir and the Women’s Chorus. She worked on the search committee to obtain the current Pastor of Faith Baptist Church. Ardena’s commitment to the work of the church took her beyond the walls of Faith Baptist Church. She was an active member of the National Baptist Convention, the Lott Carey Convention, and the Baptist Congress of Christian Education. She taught the children’s class of Concord Baptist Church annually under their own Leadership School certified by the National Baptist Congress. One of her greatest achievements was graduating from the MasterLife Class held at Faith Baptist Church. Ardena was truly a servant of the Lord.
On October 10, 1964, she married the love of her life, Phillip L. Johnson, Jr. From this union they have one daughter, Angela B. Jennings. Ardena and Phil were inseparable. She and Phil loved taking rides to enjoy the ever-evolving growth of the city. They would jump in the car just to get a snowball or to enjoy a great meal. No Christmas was complete without seeing the various light displays around town. Ardena loved good soup, and they would often go to their beloved Panera Bread. She loved to skate, dance, sing, play the piano, play Bingo, and play tennis in Druid Hill Park. She loved spending time with family and often hosted friend and family for the holidays. Ardena truly lived a full and wholesome life.
We all know Ardena’s passion for singing. She was so excited to join The Olton Singing Society under the direction of Dr. Clarence E. Henderson and enjoyed the experience. While she was a resident at the Atrium Village Retirement Community, she sang with the Village Voices. They sang the National Anthem at Camden Yards before an Orioles game, and, also, performed at Artscape. She would not miss the evening line up of Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Family Feud. Ardena enjoyed the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Ravens. She received great joy from reading, studying the Bible, and writing in her journal. You could always count on Ardena for a smile and an encouraging word. She truly loved the Lord and lived by “To God be the Glory.”
She leaves to cherish her memories: a devoted daughter, Angela B. Jennings; a loving son-in-love, Timothy R. Jennings; two sisters, Phoebe Webster, and Delores Mack; three sisters-in-love, Helen Smith, Cora Mae Ford, and Margaret Black; two god-daughters, Jennifer Israel, and Kim Winder; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and friends. “To God be the Glory".