Mary McCurdy Johnson

Mary McCurdy Johnson

Apr 24, 1926 – Apr 13, 2017

Mary McCurdy was born on April 24, 1926 in Bethany, Nebraska, the third of seven children of Morgan and Gertrude Erhart McCurdy.  She graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School in 1943. During the war, she worked summers at Goodyear Rubber Company making B-29 gas tanks, and was an active volunteer with the USO in Lincoln.  After graduating with an Associate Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1945, she processed claims at the Veteran’s Administration in Lincoln and Chicago.

She returned to UNL and graduated with a B.A. in journalism in 1949. There she met Wayne Johnson, a WWII veteran and fellow journalism student. They married in 1950 and soon moved to Omaha, where Wayne took a job at the Omaha World Herald, where he would work until his retirement in 1988. In addition to being primary care giver for their five children, Mary filled volunteer roles with her children’s schools, the March of Dimes, Camp Fire Girls, Cub Scouts, the Great Books Foundation, Volunteers Intervening for Equity, and St. Leo Catholic Church.  As her children grew up, she returned to work in the humanities resource room at Omaha Northwest High School. Mary was a longtime member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and regular participant in its International Relations and Book Groups. She was also an avid genealogist and bridge player to the end.

Mary was preceded in death by Wayne, her husband of 61 years; son, Joseph M. Johnson; brothers: Daniel (late Audrey), John (late Carol Ann) and Robert (Marilyn) McCurdy.  Survived by sisters: Catherine Bradfield (late HF) of Atlanta, Georgia, Betty Schafer (late Dick) of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Rita Kinney of San Jose, California; four children: Mark Johnson (Kathy) of Overland Park, Kansas, Eric Johnson (Marlane Bozzi) of Canton, Connecticut, Ann Johnson of Omaha, and Robb Johnson (Richard Gosselin) of Cambridge, Massachusetts; seven grandchildren: Jessica, Matt and Leigh Johnson, Andrew Jamison-Johnson (Erin), Caitlin Castelaz (Michael), Madeline Herrera (Jonathan), and Hannah Firestone; three great grandsons: Ronan and Nils Jamison-Johnson, and Anders Herrera; and a large extended family.

The family will receive friends Friday, April 21st from 5:30pm to 7pm at the Bel Air Chapel, 12100 W. Center Rd.  SERVICES Saturday, April 22nd at 11am at the Bel Air Chapel. Interment in Manley, Nebraska.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to AAUW (American Association of University Women) at the following address: AAUW Development Office, PO Box 98045, Washington, DC 20090.




  • Theresa Kivi Posted April 15, 2017 8:21 pm

    I will miss the mother to mother talks Mary and I had sitting together at the family reunions. She was a very private lady, and I’m so happy that she and I were able to share some of our lives with each other. I’ll miss her. Love to you Johnsons all!

  • Sharon Masoud Posted April 17, 2017 8:41 am

    Such a precious lady and awesome Aunt. She touched my life in many ways and will truly be missed. My brothers and I spent many fun summers in Nebraska with Aunt Mary, Uncle Wayne, and their entire family! Heaven has gain an angel….

  • Maria Kinney Posted April 20, 2017 8:46 pm

    What a wonderful woman with a loving heart. She cared deeply for family and friends, and always made us feel welcome in her world. She is leaving a loving legacy, in those who shared her life. God bless you Aunt Mary!

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