Lonetta Ann Johnson, 78
Lonetta Ann Johnson was born April 10, 1941, to Albert C. and Metta Lonetta (Lawrence) Langston, in Gainesville, Texas. She grew up in Gainesville and Wylie, Texas.
Ann would go to the Barnum & Bailey Circus that wintered there and play with the animals. She had the ability to talk with them. She especially liked the lion and elephants. She was caught sleeping with the male lion and the animal trainers told her, “don’t do that, you can get hurt or even killed.” Ann answered him with, “not that old boy, he loves me.”
Later, one of the elephants had a baby and was very upset. Ann listened to what the trainers were saying about the mother with the baby and thought, “I can help here,” and walked up to the baby and mother, talking all the time. Both calmed down and Ann said the mother was afraid someone was going to hurt the little one.
Ann graduated from Wylie High School. Her nickname was “Dynamite.” All 110 pounds of her could throw those 80- to 100-pound bales of hay all day long, and God help the guy who thought she was a weakling. Ann was an accomplished piano, accordion and organ player for her church.
During high school and college at Texas Southern Baptist College for Nursing, Ann was a champion rodeo barrel racer. Sponsors wanted her to turn pro, but Ann had her sights set on being a nurse. She was a very active person. Ann worked in the cotton fields and picked other crops as well. When she was interning in the ER department at Dallas General Hospital, one evening a lady was brought in. She was eight and a half months pregnant and had one arm torn off. The doctor wanted someone who was not an old-time ER nurse with all the bad habits to help do a first time re-attachment of the arm. Ann just finished an 8 hour shift to boot. They did the job and the doctor told her in four or five days we will know. The time came and Ann watched as the doctor unwrapped the arm and told the patient to move her fingers. After a little while she did.
Ann had two sons, David and James. She was a member and a past worthy matron of the Order of Eastern Star in Spokane.
Ann met Ron on the internet. They chatted for seven to eight months before they met in person, got married and did some traveling. One spot they visited was the Circus Museum, in Baraboo, Wis. While walking around, Ann spotted the elephant ride, so over they went. While standing next to them, one of the elephants came over, put its trunk around Ann and picked her up. The trainer went nuts, but Ann said, “it’s OK I know her.” You guessed it — it was one of the baby elephants from Gainesville, Texas. It was a wonderful reunion for them both.
Ann loved motorcycles. She was very active in the Legion Riders of Post 143 and the Post Auxiliary.
Ann got sick with dementia and Alzheimer’s. She stayed in Burley, Idaho, and in Coeur d’Alene at Orchard Ridge. After two years there she went to meet her Lord in peaceful rest, on Nov. 13, 2019, at the age of 78. “We love you and miss you my dear Ann”
Ann was a member of St. George’s Catholic Church in Post Falls. She was active in the congregation and served as piano player for the services.
Ann is survived by her husband, Ronald Johnson of Post Falls, Idaho; sons David Blanton of Post Falls and James Blanton of Otis Orchards, Wash.; four grandchildren; sister-in-law, Inga Langston and two nieces in Tacoma, Wash.; and a niece, Clinetta Langston, of Valley, Wash.
A Memorial Mass for Ann was held on Wednesday, Nov., 20, 2019, at St. George’s Catholic Church, in Post Falls, with Father Timothy Ritchey officiating. Arrangements are provided by Yates Funeral Home. On-line registry and condolences may be found at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.