Iva Mae Vantreese Johnson was born on November 1, 1932, to Viola Belle George Vantreese and Seldon O. Vantreese in Duncan, Oklahoma. Her father died when she was only three years old and she was raised by her mother, Viola, and her step-father, Bert W. Johnson.
Iva Mae attended school at Plato, Stoner, and Woodlawn. She graduated from Central High in 1952. On July 31, 1952, she married Clarence L. Johnson at Central High Baptist Church. The young couple first made their home in Lawton, then in Healdton, finally settling for good in Duncan in 1963. This is where they would raise their family and see out their days together.
Iva Mae loved to garden and cook. This was second nature for her when she went to work in the school lunch program at Emerson, Duncan Jr. High, and finally Duncan High School.
For many years, "Miss Mae" as she was known by her young charges, worked in the child care ministry at Duncan First Baptist. She believed it kept her young and we believe it did!
She was also a fighter and a survivor. Two mastectomies and their accompanying rounds of chemo ten years apart didn't stop her from watching her grandchildren grow up and time march past. She loved having them spend the night and it bothered her to no end when Nannie Mae could no longer cook the things they liked.
In May of 2018 following a fall, whilst not using the cane she really didn't need, she came to live at Gregston's in Marlow. We simply can't say enough about the excellent care Mom and we as a family received from them. It is a great burden to have keep of our elders. We can never thank them enough.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence; their infant son, James; her father, Seldon O. Vantreese; her mother, Viola Belle Johnson; and her stepfather and the only father she really knew, Bertis W. Johnson. She was also preceded in death by her little sister, Patsy Marie Blackburn, and her brother, Jack Vantreese.
Iva Mae is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Johnson of Duncan, her son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Ganna Johnson of Bray, along with her beloved grandchildren, Annabelle and Bryson Johnson of Bray. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Jim Blackburn of Marlow; nephew, Darrell Johnson of Wagoner; nieces, Jahree Taylor of Duncan, Pam Blackburn Davis of Marlow, and Dawn Blackburn of Muskogee; and cousins, Bill Pittman, Christine Moore, Sue Cowan, and Dee Lowry, all of Duncan.
Family visitation is scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 5:30-7:30 P.M. at Whitt Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 4, at 10:00 A.M. in the Whitt Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Randy Southerland officiating. Interment will follow at Duncan Municipal Cemetery under the direction of Whitt Funeral Home.
Iva attended St. Paul's Methodist Church in her later years. Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Blackburn, Donald Couch, and Eric McGhghy. Pallbearers will be Donnie Taylor, William Bumpas, Doug Murray, Thomas Whitehead, Wesley Taylor, Darrell Johnson, and Bryson Johnson.
Memorial donations may be made to Taylor LeNorman Cancer Center here in Duncan.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.whittfh.com.
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