Mary Ann Johnson

April 24, 1932 ~ December 11, 2020 (age 88)


Mary Ann McCasland Johnson died at her home in Nashville, Tennessee on December 11, 2020.Mary Ann was born on April 24, 1932, in Baltimore, Maryland, daughter of Vernon and Louise McCasland. She has now gone to join them, her brother George Pike, and her beloved husband Paul. Their children are Colleen Johnson Minard of Estes Park, Colorado; David (Monica) Johnson of Kingston Springs, Tennessee; and Paul (Beth) Johnson of Canandaigua, New York. Grandchildren are Zachary (Danielle) Minard of Colorado; Beverly Minard of Italy; Carina Anderson, Anna Johnson, and Miquel Johnson of Tennessee; Lydia (Andy) Huntress of New York; and Will (Kathryn) Johnson of Maryland. Great-grandchildren are Lydia and Andy's Lincoln, Lewis, Lemuel, and Aliza; and Will and Kathryn's Fergus.When Mary Ann was 5, her family crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, for her father to participate in archaeological research in Palestine. Once back in America, the family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia as Vernon became a professor of religion at the University of Virginia. Mary Ann's favorite memory from her school years was playing the French horn in her high school marching band. Band music brought her joy for the rest of her life.In the first year the University of Virginia went coed, Mary Ann was one of only 7 women students on campus. As she earned her degree in elementary education she fell in love with Paul, who was an architecture student. They were married 3 years later, on August 27, 1952, with her father officiating. After graduation she taught first grade for 2 years, and Paul worked as an architect. Their 3 children were born in Charlottesville. In 1960, the family moved to Nashville as he accepted a position in the Church Architecture Dept of the Baptist Sunday School Board. In Nashville Mary Ann was primarily a homemaker. She also served as a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Brownie leader, and later taught in 2 preschools and substituted in public schools all over Nashville. She was also a tireless supporter of her husband's 18 years as a Boy Scoutmaster of Troop 99. She was a news junkie and eager voter, fought Green Hills neighborhood zoning changes, sewed a LOT, and loved books, health food, scratch vegetarian cooking, research, birding, folk dancing, B.C. comics, and the ocean. "Every wave is different," she would say. Especially fond of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, we took several summer trips to camp there. In her senior years Mary Ann became a distance swimmer at the Green Hills YMCA and won Senior Olympic medals in the backstroke and freestyle. She enjoyed playing handbells at Vine Street Christian Church in Nashville. She also developed a love for origami, as the materials were easy to pack up to visit and fold with her grandkids.After 50 years in Nashville, due to declining health Mary Ann and Paul moved to Colorado in 2010, to be close to their daughter. In 2016 they returned to Nashville to be near their son, and moved into assisted living at the Lodge at Natchez Trace. Enduring her own physical struggles, for years Mary Ann was a steadfast rock and caregiver for Paul as he dealt with dementia and other issues. She lost the love of her life 4 months after they returned to Nashville. Over these homestretch years, we have been enormously grateful for the caring staff and friendships Paul and Mary Ann found in their senior living communities and churches in Colorado and Tennessee. Mary Ann passed away quietly this past December. Our parents were always happiest when they were together. Now she has peace at last, as she missed him so.If you wish to make a memorial gift, the family requests that you consider contributing to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Multi-Use Path project, because Mary Ann loved walking, advocated for handicapped access, and sure loved that lighthouse. Outer Banks Forever ( is the official non-profit fundraising partner for Cape Hatteras National Seashore and this project.

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