Sallie Naomi Driver Johnson, 97, passed away Sunday, November 8, 2020. She was born April 12, 1923 in Nash County to the late Jessie Dewey Driver, Sr. and Bettie Mae Lewis Driver. Naomi graduated from Middlesex High School in 1940 as valedictorian of her class. She married her husband of 55 years, John Rudolph Johnson, also from Middlesex on September 10, 1943. They married in Sparta, Wisconsin, where Rudolph was stationed in the Army. He left for Europe and WWII just a few days after their marriage, not to return for 2 years. During his military service, Naomi worked in Smithfield and later became manager of the cafeteria at Middlesex School, a position she kept until the family moved to Whiteville in 1959. The family also lived in Dunn until Naomi and Rudolph returned to Middlesex in 1980. Naomi was a member of Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church in Middlesex, Trinity Baptist Church in Whiteville, North Clinton Avenue Baptist Church in Dunn and Middlesex Baptist Church in Middlesex. She taught Sunday School and worked with Sunbeams and GAs. She was also an avid crafter and gardener. Naomi helped care for her elderly mother, Bettie Driver, until her mother’s death in 1994.
A funeral service will be held 1:00 pm, Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at Middlesex Baptist Family Life Center, 11490 W. Stewart St., Middlesex. Burial will follow at Hollywood Cemetery in Middlesex.
Naomi is survived by her children: Fred Michael Johnson (Beverly) of Thomasville, Sylvia Johnson Gorham (Bill) of Wake Forest; granddaughter, Eryn Michael Johnson of Thomasville; siblings: Jacqueline Driver Murray of Raleigh, Carlton Glenn Driver of Middlesex.
In addition to her husband, Naomi was preceded in death by siblings: Louis Franklin Driver, Harold Lloyd Driver, Jessie Dewey Driver, Jr.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the loving caregivers who helped Naomi during the later years of her of her life: Gail Liles of Middlesex, Kathy Herndon of Middlesex, and Donna Tedder of Emit. We would also like to thank Transitions Life Care of Wake County. Since 1979, Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County) has provided compassionate end-of-life and palliative care to people of Wake and surrounding counties. A special thanks goes to Dwan Kelsey of Transitions who visited Naomi on a regular basis. The family also thanks Renaissance Care Home in Raleigh whose caregivers provided Naomi a loving environment for the last year, showing her much love.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Transitions Life Care (Hospice) of Wake County.
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