JOHNSON, Edith Brenda (Davidge)
September 4, 2013 1:24 AM
Peacefully passed at Trudez Home Care in Santa Clarita, California on Friday, August 30, 2013 at the age of 86. She was a resident of Santa Clarita since 2010, Santa Barbara from 1994 to 2010 and San Bernardino, California from 1953 to 1994.
Brenda (as she was known by friends and family) was born in Atcham, England on May 22, 1927 to Frederick and May (Gillam) Davidge. Frederick served in World War 1 and made his career as a warehouse foreman until his retirement. Following retirement, the couple owned and operated a pub in Shrewsbury called "The Three Tuns". Brenda Davidge Johnson was the second of three children including an older brother, John Victor, and a younger brother, Alan Frederick.
Brenda was educated at The Lancasterian School in Shrewsbury where she demonstrated an interest in sports, dance and theater. She held several jobs as a teenager in Shrewsbury during World War II, including sales positions at a fashion store (William Majors) and Newton's Men's Haberdashery.
In 1942, Brenda met an American airman, John Wilder "Wally" Johnson from Ellabell, Georgia at an armed forces dance at Morrissey's Ballroom in Shrewsbury. Wally was stationed nearby and engaged in preparations for the Normandy invasion. Two years later, they were married on May 10, 1944 at St. George's Church in Shrewsbury.
Following his honorable discharge and return to the United States, Wally lived with his older brother's family near Tampa, Florida. It would take another two years before the U.S. government would permit Brenda to join her husband stateside.
Wally and Brenda settled in Phoenix, Arizona and opened a restaurant they named the "Aloha Malt Shop" that featured malts, shakes, breakfast and homemade pies. The couple relocated to Riverside, California after an electrical fire destroyed the malt shop. They welcomed their first-born child, Geraldine Leigh Johnson in 1950. The couple relocated to San Bernardino, California in 1951 and a son was born, Von Wilder Johnson, in 1954.
Wally worked for the Pioneer Rug Company in San Bernardino as a carpet installer during the 1950's and opened Wally's Carpet Service in the early 1960's. The company that bears his name is still in operation. Brenda devoted herself to raising Gerri and Von and managing the homestead. She also supported Wally's business on a part time basis in later years. Brenda was very active in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Arrowhead Country Club where she served on a number of philanthropic committees and civic projects. Brenda was an avid golfer and dancer for the better part of her adult life.
Wally Johnson passed on August 4, 2008.
Brenda Johnson is survived by her children Gerri (and Steven) Laguette, Von (and Pamela) Johnson, and her brother Alan (and Vivian) Davidge. Surviving grand-children are Robyn Wilder Laguette (and Javier) Rivera, Janelle Alan Laguette (and Evan) Skei, Mallory Wilder Johnson and Samantha Elizabeth Johnson. Surviving great grandchildren are Reid Spencer Skei, Jamieson Wilder Rivera, and Victoria Michelle Skei.
Brenda's second granddaughter, Jaime Laguette-Stevens, passed away from complications due to colon cancer on January 16, 2010.