The Hopewell Borough family lost one of its own as Mrs. Betty Wold Johnson passed from this earth on Tuesday, May 5th. She was 99. She will be missed, immensely.
Anyone fortunate enough to have known Mrs. Johnson was blessed indeed. She was an amazing, kind, astute, generous and brilliant woman – and one that had a way of making everyone around her feel respected, important, welcomed. She was as interesting as she was interested. Her quick and curious mind and wit enabled fantastic and charming conversation. She would remember and later recall the most minute details of a conversation because when you were with her, she was fully present, fully engaged, completely interested in the story or the plan or the project in discussion. Later, she would add to and improve that idea or project, because she didn’t stop thinking about it. She didn’t surrender her attention until the idea or project was perfected, or the problem was resolved.
Mrs. J’s kindness and down-to-earth presence was legendary, and appreciated. She loved Hopewell Borough and we loved her. She was “our” Mrs. J. She loved life and she lived it to the fullest. To Mrs. J, spending time with her neighbors was one of life’s greatest joys. She was one of us. She had her “regular” table at Rose & Chubby’s (now Aunt Chubby’s), she would attend community events, she might weigh in on an issue affecting the Borough and she was always, always, interested in improving “home” and the world around her. She taught us about community because she lived the highest principles that define community every single day.
Mrs. Johnson’s generosity was also legendary. Most of the famous landmarks in Hopewell Borough were born from that generosity, usually anonymously. She preferred to help improve the town rather than her own image because that’s just who she was. She respected our history and she helped us augment our character, our landscape, and our traditions, one improvement at a time. There are too many improvements to count – and she would hate it if we tried – so we won’t. But we know, and we will remember, that so much of what we love about Hopewell Borough – so much of what is showcased in our landscape and displayed in our interactions with each other – is made possible, or made better, because Mrs. J was here.
Mrs. Johnson reminded us of who we are through her actions and with her kindness. It’s up to us now to protect and preserve that investment. If we take care of each other, take care of and maintain our public places and always remember to respect each other, we’ll continue her legacy.
We will miss our friend, and we will carry her in our hearts, always.