Bernice E. Johnson was born September 9th, 1933, in Los Angeles, CA. and passed away on February 12, 2022 at the age of 88. She was the second child born to Florence Mary Burbank and Bernard “Ben” Ernest Down.
Bernice grew up in Los Angeles, where her father Ben served as a master carpenter on the Hughes “Spruce Goose.” The family moved to San Diego in the 1940’s.
Bernice met Robert “Bob” George Johnson on a blind date in the 1950’s. Bernice and Bob married on Saturday August 22, 1953, in San Diego, CA. Bernice and Bob were married for 34 years when Bob suddenly passed away in 1988.
As a homemaker, Bernice raised five children, Gary A. Johnson (Alpine, CA) Thomas L. Johnson (Spring Valley, CA) Sandra A. Kern/Phil (Spring Valley, CA) Richard R. Johnson/Juanita (Spring Valley, CA) and James D. Johnson (Blythe, CA).
Bernice was very involved in PTA, fundraising for playgrounds on campus and along the way making life-long friends.
Summers were spent camping for two weeks in the Cuyamaca Mountains at Green Valley Falls and two weeks at Carlsbad State Beach with family friend Mary Lou Barham, and her children Diana and Daryl. Bernice was the camper in the family, not Bob. Bob’s idea of camping was a motel, but he would frequently come visit on the weekends.
Bernice was a strong independent woman, there wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. Bernice was a DIYer, before it was popular. She loved being a cook, baker, candy maker, cake decorator, crafter, gardener, quilter, sewer, tole painter, upholsterer just to name a few. She was extraordinarily talented beyond belief.
Christmas was Bernice’s favorite time of year, decorating the house from top to bottom, making gingerbread houses and baking bread for neighborhood friends. Christmas dinners were typically 40-plus relatives with platters of homemade cookies, candies and special gifts at each place setting.
Bernice was the heart of the home with a contagious laugh. She
loved her family unconditionally and cherished her grandchildren. She was the best mother, sister, friend, parent, aunt, grandmother that anyone could ask for.
Preceded in death by her husband Robert G. Johnson, father Bernard E. Down, mother Florence M. Burbank and brother Jean E. Down.
She is survived by her five children and six grandchildren: Stephanie A. Kern, Nathaniel G. Kern, Robert G. Johnson, Spencer C. Kern, Michelle T. Johnson and Chandler N. Kern.