Johnnie Roberts

Johnnie Mahan Roberts, 73, passed away February 11th, 2017 in Franklin, Texas. She was born in Hearne, Texas December 20, 1943 to John Mahan and Gladys Barnes Mahan. She was a graduate of Sam Houston State and University of Dallas, earning a Phi Beta Kappa designation at the latter.

Johnnie devoted much of her life to her career and her church. Prior to retiring in 2010, she was a teacher in the Franklin ISD, where she taught dyslexic children. Her love of children was exemplified with prior teaching jobs on an Indian reservation in New Mexico and in schools around Texas including Mesquite, Quinlan and Hearne. She was beloved by her many students through the years. who often came by to see her as they grew up and left her class. An artist at heart, Johnnie’s creative talents were manifested in her paintings, sewing, gardening, and bee keeping. She excelled at home decorating when she once worked as a buyer and interior designer at House and Table, a renowned home decor shop in Dallas, Texas.

Johnnie loved traveling especially with her sister Alice. She ventured to Mexico, Israel and many European countries . Her involvement with the Elliot Baptist Church was a focal point in her life. Her great grandparents were founding members; Johnnie continued the tradition by teaching the senior Sunday school classes. She was active in the community and headed the Elliot Community Cemetery Committee for many years. She was beloved by all those that knew and worked with her and known for her patience, generosity of spirit and kindness, especially to those in need.

Johnnie’s humanitarian efforts crossed over with her love for children and education. While living in Dallas , she opened her home to Beatriz Arvizu, a foreign exchange student from Queretaro, Mexico. Beatriz became a part of the family and Johnnie came to love Beatriz like a daughter.

Even in death Johnnie is still educating. It was her lifelong dream to donate her body to science for the further advancement of medicine. Her wishes were granted and her body was willed to Texas A&M medical research program.

Johnnie is survived by her daughter Christy McDonald Atkinson and Christy’s husband Darren Atkinson, both of South Padre Island, Texas. Some of her proudest moments are of watching Christy perform as a clown for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. She treasured the loving care that Christy demonstrated, while taking care of her during her illness.

Additional surviving loved ones are her sisters Alice Payne of Edna, Texas and Evelyn Skiles of Katy, Texas. Also, her nieces and nephews and their spouses …Jo and Mark Leopold of Katy, Texas , Resa and Stanley Johnson of Albuquerque , New Mexico, John Payne of Houston, Texas and Patty Bone of Edna, Texas. Her loving Aunt and Uncle, Irene and Ancel Boswell of Hearne, Texas.

Johnnie’s family wants to especially thank all friends and neighbors who have helped care for her including the Brazos Valley Hospice staff, (especially Erica Beckermann and Pam Boyd), Cindy and David Bishop, Judy Payne, Debi and Dale Wells, Nelda Calhoun and Kathie Martine.

A memorial service is planned for the celebration of Johnnie’s life on February 25th, 1:00pm at the Elliot Baptist Church in Elliot, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Brazos Valley Hospice or the Elliot Community Cemetery.

Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers of Bryan College Station, Texas. Express condolences at


  1. Condolences to the Roberts family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family. Psalms 147:3 says God, “heals the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds.” May God bring you comfort and peace.

  2. I will truly miss my cousin! She has always been a rock for me and admired her faith in God. She is remarkable woman and definitely left a legacy on earth. See you soon in heaven!

  3. I have known Johnnie since we were in 4th grade together. Our time together was memorable and treasured. We played together as young girls, shared secrets as teenagers and we both led a carefree life. We went to church together, sang duets, and endured our Mother’s glares when we giggled in church. Life was good. And always, Johnnie was full of life and always happy.

    We both married and lived at opposite ends of the state so our time that we saw each other was limited. We both came full circle and ended up close to each other. I am so glad we saw each other and visited in December. As usual, she was upbeat and happy.

    I pray that God will wrap his loving arms around this family and give them comfort in their memories of Johnnie. She lived life to the fullest and she will be missed by many friends.

  4. What an inspiration Johnnie was!!! She was to mentor as a new teacher at Quinlan. WE taught in the same little portable together for 4th grade and we both moved up to teach 5th grade together.
    I remember her sewing projects for the costumes for her daughter in the circus. The projects for the schools that placed us in the newspaper.
    Such a sharp mind and wonderful sense of humor! We laughed so much, I wonder how we got anything accomplished.
    I am sorry to learn of her passing too late. She would understand, I am always late…

    Wonderful memories going to different places with her and having adventures. A wonderful teacher, and a wonderful person!
    I could not have made it without her friendship those years and sadly lost touch with her.
    God Bless.

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