Johnnie Carolyn Singleton Bransford was born on December 15, 1930 and died on March 25, 2019. She was born in Bigelow, Arkansas, the beloved daughter of Joe and Ruie Singleton, and adored sister of Ruth and Ellen Gene. The Singleton family moved to Lonoke early in her life and Johnnie claimed the town as her home forevermore. She was a proud graduate and lifelong supporter of Lonoke schools and attended Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Johnnie married Richard Bransford, the love of her life, in 1951 and they were married until Dick died in 2015. Johnnie has been happily reunited with her loved ones in heaven.
Johnnie shared her talents over the years as a teacher, amateur genealogist, historian, writer, preservationist, sometime farm truck driver and avid Razorback fan. She also loved golf (having a hole in one!), tennis, bridge and dressing up at Halloween. She was a master cook with recipes that can be found throughout the house. She was at her happiest when she had people to entertain and her home was filled with laughter and friends. She never met a stranger. She was most proud of helping the city save the Lonoke Depot and having Eberts Air Field noted with a historical marker. Johnnie and Dick were named 1985 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year and were named as the Governor’s Community Service Volunteers of the Year in 1986 for their work on the Lonoke Cemetery.
Johnnie was raised by her daddy to dig in the dirt so marrying a farmer was a perfect fit. Planting was her way of spreading joy and seeds of love everywhere. She loved to plant and sow and continued until she couldn’t hold a trowel. Still she would pick up sticks and rearrange leaves to make the world around her more beautiful. She could be counted on to be in her yard or the cemetery doing all season long.
Dick and Johnnie raised their children in the Baptist Church, first at Caney Creek in Pettus and then at Lonoke Baptist Church, where she was an active member until her health curtailed her involvement.
Johnnie Carolyn Bransford is survived by her children Becky Paxton (Bill), Rick (Susan) and Roger (Susan). Grandchildren are Dr. Sara Bransford Blair (Tyler), Sloan and Taylor (fiancée Laura) Paxton and Ellen and Alex Bransford. Great-Grandchildren are Thomas and Caroline Blair.
Johnnie was blessed with an angel who became her friend and caregiver, Corine Gibbons.
Visitation will be at Boyd Funeral Home, 207 E. 2nd, Lonoke, on March 27 from 5-7 pm. The funeral will be held at Lonoke Baptist Church on Thursday, March 28, at 10 am. Interment will follow at the Lonoke Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Lonoke Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 761, Lonoke, AR 72086.