Our dearest Billie McFarling Johnson, age 88, was picked by Our Lord from the garden of life January 29th, 2023.
Born September 24th, 1934 in Durham, NC, she was the daughter of the late Andrew Coleman McFarling “Jack Mack” and Bonnie Markham McFarling. Billie was from “yes ma’am” and “no sir”, clothesline-dried clothes, and meals from the garden. To say that she was a hard worker would have been an understatement. From a very young age, she picked cotton and tobacco for a woman named Mrs. Blackwell, who we were told served the best lunches on blistering days. Later in life, she attended Watts School of Nursing, earning her LPN degree. Billie worked at Watts Hospital and Chapel Hill OBGYN delivering newborns into the world.
Billie was nothing short of a skillful woman, amazing everyone with her abundance of abilities. Accidentally winning a state-wide baking competition with her chocolate pound cake, Billie was a master baker and cook—you always went for seconds, if not thirds. She was known best for her fried cornbread, Brunswick stew, and pound cake among the many others. You never left her house without a full stomach, regardless if you came to eat. She was like that: she always left you better than you came. Following her food, she was also notorious for her artwork. If she wasn’t downstairs in the “den” cross-stitching to Wheel of Fortune or Price is Right, she was upstairs quilting or in her sewing room. She was a selfless woman, dedicating days (if not weeks or months) to her craft, only for it to be gifted to someone else. Billie was also well-known for her love of the outdoors. Gifted as a green thumb, her house was fortified by flowers of all types—hydrangeas, buttercups, pansies, and her absolute favorite, roses. She loved her flowers, and it almost seemed as if they loved her back. Warm springs gave way to butterfly afternoons and cold winters ladybugs—her most frequent, unpopular visitor.
Above all, her best quality was her love and devotion for her family, friends, and strangers alike—even the cashiers at Walmart. No birthday or anniversary went without a card and a phone call from her. Billie was a loving wife, sister, mother, grandmother “Mamaw”, and great grandmother, but most importantly, she was a true friend. She always lent an ear if you needed to talk, but would not spare you from her own “two cents”! She never wanted you to leave and continually reminded you that you had a place to stay—a place with her. She constantly made extreme efforts to make everyone she touched feel important, loved, and wanted.
In the words of her husband, “she was a good woman,” and a good woman she certainly was. She was an example to her family and peers of not only good faith, but good faith in practice. May she live forever in our hearts through acts of kindness and service to others so that we may one day join her in life everlasting.
Survived by her beloved husband, Felton, and her three children: Bonnie (Kenny), Rick (Scarlet), and Todd (Sharon). Also, her five grandchildren: Lauren (Brandon), Reid (Halie), Aaron (Chelsea), Cody (Olivia), and Samuel. And four great grandchildren: Bishop, Roland, Briggs, and Bexley.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Cane Creek Baptist Church, Baptist Children’s Home of NC, or the Alzheimer's Association (https://alz.org/) in loving memory of the one who loved us.
The funeral service for Billie Johnson will be 2 PM Friday, February 3, 2023, in Cane Creek Baptist Church. Visitation will be 1-1:45 PM Friday before the service. Burial will be in the church cemetery.