The gentle winds of new life blew into the lives of Will and Ethel Washington on December 11, 1925 when entrusted into their care was a baby girl they named Johnie Bell. Johnie Bell was literally born in a little modest house on the banks of the Yazoo River (where the Yazoo River bridge stands today).
Johnie Bell accepted Christ at an early age and was a lifetime member of the Beulah Land Baptist Church. She and her father often walked from the river bridge to church.
Johnie Bell was the youngest child born to her parents and was educated in the Yazoo Public Schools. She believed that everyone should get a good education. Her grandmother, Beauty Blossom McKinzie, was an educator. This motivated Johnie Bell to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from what is now known as Jackson State University.
She was a teacher by profession and taught over a span of 33 years in the Yazoo County Schools. The majority of her career was spent in the Holly Bluff Public Schools where she met many lifetime friends. She enjoyed her job and often came home full of laughter with a story about something that happened at school whether it was a co-worker or a student who had made it a fun day.
Johnie Bell met and married James “Lil’ Jim” Anderson. To this union, four children were born.
On May 7, 2017, the winds of eternal life blew into the life of Johnie Bell Anderson, and she was swept away into the arms of the Lord.
She was preceded in death by her husband; mother; father (who was buried around the hill at the old church); two sons, James Anderson Jr. (who died at an early age) and William Earl “Bubba” Anderson; and all of her siblings, including her oldest sister, Melisssa, who she was especially fond of and dearly loved.
Left to honor and cherish her memory are two daughters, Mary Ann Anderson Brewer of Ridgeland and Margaret Anderson Guillory of Pearland, Texas; two grandchildren, Fletresha Whisenton and LaKeith Brewer; two great-grandchildren, Makalah Whisenton and Xavier Whisenton; a special son-in-law, Donald Guillory of Pearland, Texas, who she dearly loved and help care for her for many years; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.