Carnations 6

Norma Ilene (Drake) Johnson

October 8, 1924 ~ January 16, 2022 (age 97)


Norma Eileen Drake (Cox) Johnson, 97, of Mesa, Arizona passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 16, 2022. She was born on October 8, 1924, in Junction, Illinois, the seventh of nine children of Roy and Pansie (Moore) Drake. She moved with the family to Shawneetown, Illinois from St. Louis, Missouri when she was in junior high school.  Norma was a veteran of WWII and served in the Navy secretary corps in Washington, D.C.   She attended Southern Illinois University where she met her first husband, Dan Cox of West Frankfort, Illinois in 1948. As the wife of a Foreign Service Officer, she traveled the world for many years, living and raising a family in Ethiopia, Somalia, Liberia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Laos, and Colombia. She enjoyed learning languages and exploring the beauty and differences of many countries, cultures, and people. In 1965, while living in Taipei, Taiwan she was the secretary to the president of Air Asia. In Vientiane, Laos, she served as the secretary for the Air America station chief.  After a divorce from Dan Cox, Norma worked at the Oregon Graduate Center in Beaverton, Oregon and later married Robert R. Johnson of Salem, Oregon in 1985. They lived in Cairo, Egypt for several years before retiring in Salem to be close to Bob’s family and friends. They spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona.  Norma loved sewing, reading, playing bridge, and entertaining friends and family.  She was preceded in death by her parents, seven siblings, and her husband.   She is survived by one sister, Kathryn Gill; her three children Dan, Jean, and Brian; 3 stepchildren, Elizabeth, Allan, and Eleanor; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  She requested no services be held and donations in her memory can be made to Habitat for Humanity.  There will be a private interment at the Westwood Cemetery near Shawneetown.  Vickery Funeral Chapel in Shawneetown in charge of local arrangements.

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Private Interment

Westwood Cemetery
Westwood Cemetery Road
Shawneetown, Illinois 62984

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