Gwendolyn Garner Johnson, 95, beloved mother, grandmother and local farmer, died Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.
She was a fourth-generation DeSoto county native, who lived her entire life in the Owens, Fla., community. Gwendolyn was a citrus grower and cattle rancher who loved the land, a true cowgirl. Known for her determination, honesty and generosity, she served as the first committee chairwoman of the Farm Service Agency in the United States and the first woman committee member in Florida. Gwendolyn also served on the board of the Farmer’s Home Administration.
Her life was a testament to hard work and resilience, and she survived drought, pests, canker and several hurricanes. Throughout her life, Gwendolyn supported her fellow farmers and participated in efforts to make positive changes in the agricultural community.
She deeply loved her family and is survived by a son, Richard “Dick” (Karen Ames) Johnson of Lakeland, Fla; two granddaughters, Ginny (Stephen) Inman of Greensboro, N.C., and Alice (Chip) Nuttall of Nashville, Tenn.; two great-grandsons, Eli and Samuel Inman; and her brother, Felton Garner of Arcadia, Fla. Gwendolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Hardee Johnson; and her parents, Rosa Alice Morton Garner and Daniel Whitley Garner.
A memorial service to celebrate Gwendolyn’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at The Church of St. Edmund Episcopal, 327 W. Hickory St., Arcadia, FL 34266. Burial will follow at the Mt. Ephraim Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will be held following the service at the family home in Owens. Memorial donations can be made to Tidewell Hospice, 919 N. Arcadia Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266, or charity of your choice. Online condolences can be made at pongerkaysgrady.com.
Arrangements are by Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Homes.