Johnnie Mahan Roberts

Johnnie Mahan Roberts, 73, passed away February 11, 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. Artists 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 25, 1:00 p.m. 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

Franklin Advocate

120 W. Third St.
Hearne, TX 77859
(979) 279-3411