Melanie Janann Johnson, 58, of New Haven, WV, released herself from the horrific grasp of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 10:30 PM, peacefully at home, surrounded by her family and friends.
This beautiful mother was born September 19, 1959, in Charleston, WV.
She grew up and lived in what used to be known as Romance, WV, now known as Goldtown, at the very southern tip of Jackson County. She was active on the farm as a teenager and also very active with her church, Fisher Chapel United Methodist. As an adult, she volunteered for many years in the Jackson County school system, mainly Kenna Elementary, where her children attended. She also spent 25 years in food service, working in all facets: waiting, cooking, and office management. She was also co-owner and operator of two restaurants.
At the later part of her life, she and her husband bought a farm in New Haven. She was a beautiful mother who loved being outside, spending hours and days tending her horses, doing yard work, and cooking delicious meals for her family and surrogate family. She loved the holidays. She loved decorating for Christmas; it was her favorite time of year. She loved going to pick out the tree; it had to be perfect, large, and full, just like her beautiful heart. Melanie then decorated it with big, beautiful bulbs and littered it with trinkets that her kids and grandkids had made in school. Some from as far back as when they were in kindergarten. She prepared a mess of holiday treats every year. She made fudge, hard rock candy, and spiced pecans, just to name a few. She prepared the most delicious pies and cakes, anything she could do to make sure that anyone who was around would leave full and felt loved. Melanie always loved the snow, even though her husband hated it after years of having to work traffic accidents as a Kanawha County deputy sheriff.
Of all of the wonderful things she was and of all the things she did, being a mother and grandmother was her greatest accomplishment. Melanie was tough; she made no bones about that, but when that iron fist that she ruled with opened up, she held the keys to all their hearts. Nothing made her happier than her four beautiful grandchildren. There wasn't a more loving "Maw Maw" to ever exist.
Melanie was preceded in death by her parents, Tempest Gwendolyn Boggess and Thomas Richard Boggess.
She is survived by her loving and beautiful husband, Jess Stephen Johnson; her children, Justin Shane Johnson, Courtney Miller, Ciara Janann Johnson, Bob Buffington, Cheyenne Danielle Johnson, and Chris Cale; her beautiful and loving grandchildren, Bailey Jane Buffington, Gwendolyn Danielle Cale, Tempest June Johnson, and Adrianna May Buffington; a brother, Terry Boggess; and sisters, Janet Miller and Sherry Miller. She was also survived by a surrogate family big enough to fill an Alabama concert. (Everyone knew how she felt about Alabama.) "You all know who you are."
A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 8, 2017, at Fisher Chapel United Methodist Church on Middle Fork Road in Romance at 2 PM.
A reception will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fisher Chapel or to ALS research to help find a cure for this horrific disease.
No one deserves what this beautiful mother had to endure over the last two years.
"We love you with our whole hearts, Momma, and we will miss you forever. Rest in peace beautiful lady."
Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley, WV, is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary originally published in the October 4, 2017 edition of The West Virginia Daily News.