A brilliant mind and giving soul was called to our Lord and Savior on September 19, 2023 at 4:05pm. Ellar Thomas Perry Reliford Johnson, at the age of 81 years, made her “home going” passage from Fontana, CA, where she had been cared for by her youngest son, Donald Johnson.
Ellar Thomas Perry Reliford Johnson was born in Creston, LA on October 8th, 1941 to Chester and Susie Thomas. Ellar was the second born of three children: Essie Thomas Abbott and Chester Thomas Jr. As farming was shifting during the late 1940s and her father’s desire for a better life for his family bubbled up, he decided to leave farming and moved his family to Houston, Texas where he entered work in the oil industry. Ellar encountered the “culture shock of her life” going into the third grade in a large city.
An outgoing, outspoken and tough-minded personality, Ellar excelled in all that she did. She excelled in her educational pursuits and her life, obtaining her undergraduate and graduate degrees just before turning 21 and fulfilling her dream of creating a family almost simultaneously. She was a resourceful and innovative individual, working out solutions for problems that no one could solve. She did not accept failure as a solution. During her time in college, she pledged and later joined, in 1963, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, created in 1908 for Black college educated women in the United States. Today that sorority has provided the country with the first Black Female Vice President of the United States.
Ellar became a bride and mother more than once during her high achieving life and left to the world three sons who continue to chart the high achieving course she initiated. Ellar gave birth to her first son, Vincent A. Perry about the same time she was finishing her undergraduate degree. She went on to create a legacy which gave the world two more sons: S.W. David Johnson Jr. and Donald D. Johnson. She was later blessed with five beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. Her five grandchildren all exhibit her high achieving standards. Her legacy lives on! When she became ill during her late years, her youngest son, stepped forward and became the one who cared for her during her final years of a long illness.
Ellar is remembered by her sister and brother-in-law (Essie and Jim Abbott Sr.), her three sons (Vincent, David, and Don), two nephews (Jim Jr. and Eric), five grandchildren (Natalie, Erin, Karin, Elizabeth, and Ethan) and a host of family and friends.