Arnetta Downs Johnson of Kansas City, MO, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, at NorthCare Hospice House. She was 90 years old.
Arnetta was born on July 19, 1929, in Kansas City, MO, to the union of Joseph Downs and Elizabeth Elmore. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1946 and soon after married the love of her life, Olden Johnson. From their loving union three children were born: Christella, Gerald and Olden C. Johnson.
Arnetta became a licensed cosmetologist and followed her passion of styling hair and making others feel beautiful. She specialized in the “press and curl” style popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Arnetta went on to work in manufacturing at Western Electric, which later became AT&T, where she retired in 1996 after 32 years.
In her spare time and in retirement, Arnetta enjoyed singing in gospel choirs, shopping, traveling and spending quality time with her family.
She spent many years traveling the United States performing as part of the Rev. James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America. She was particularly proud of her appearance in the production of Show Boat at Starlight Theater in 1976 as part of the Charles Love gospel choir.
Arnetta was a fashionista who loved wearing colorful church hats. She loved to bargain shop and spent countless hours scouring racks at boutiques and consignment stores throughout the metro area in search of great deals not only for herself, but for her extended family and friends. She had a knack for spotting high-quality and designer merchandise and negotiating the lowest prices. She made friends with store clerks who knew her preferences and would set aside items in anticipation of her weekly visits.
Arnetta enjoyed traveling and did so extensively until her health began to fail. She was selfless in her love for her family. She cherished and doted on each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was very proud of their academic and professional achievements and she loved to share their success with others.
Arnetta was baptized at an early age and was a faithful servant to the Lord. She was a longtime member of St. Stephen Baptist Church and most recently made her church home at Open Door Ministries in Grandview, MO, where she took great pride in being the mother of the church.
Arnetta’s husband, a sister, three brothers and a grandson preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Christella (Clennon) Jones and Gerald Johnson, of Kansas City, MO, and Olden C. (Mary) Johnson of Warrensburg, MO; grandchildren, Kimberley Breaux of Firestone, CO, Kia Breaux Randle of Kansas City, MO, and Clifton (Erin) Johnson of Fort Worth, TX; great-grandchildren, Alexander Johnson and Megan Johnson of Fort Worth, TX, and John Randle IV and Jaden Randle of Kansas City, MO; a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
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