Cover photo for Anabel "Sally" Sullivan Johnson's Obituary
Anabel "Sally" Sullivan Johnson Profile Photo
1931 Anabel 2023

Anabel "Sally" Sullivan Johnson

May 10, 1931 — August 16, 2023



Anabel “Sally” Sullivan Johnson was born on Mother's Day, May 10, 1931, the third of 9 children born to Joe D. and Clara E. Sullivan. She passed away on August 16, 2023 in a room filled with her beloved family. Sally received Jesus Christ as her savior at a young age, and at the age of 15 surrendered her life to full-time Christian ministry.

She graduated in 1949 from Lonoke High School, where she was salutatorian, senior class president, was selected as outstanding student by the school faculty, was a forward on the Lonoke Jackrabbit basketball team, and acted in school plays. After high school Sally took a gap year before entering Ouachita Baptist College (now University). She worked her way through college as a secretary for Francis Crawford. She loved college where she continued acting in plays, joined the debate team, was “Varsity Girl”, in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and was President of YWA. She graduated in 1954 with degrees in speech and physical education and received a teaching Certificate. 

After college Sally followed her calling into ministry and joined the staff of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she began ministering in the areas of youth, education, administration, teaching and drama. She faithfully and joyfully served on the staffs of First Baptist Church, Lawton, Oklahoma and First Baptist Church, Enid, Oklahoma, and joined her husband in ministry on the staff of First Baptist Church Little Rock, where they served for 27 years. 

Through the Providence of God, she met a young army drill instructor, Jerry Johnson, in Lawton, Oklahoma. The two fell in love; a love that lasted for 64 years of marriage. They were married on August 28, 1959.

Sally was preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings, Eunice Woodard, Rosalie Sullivan, Joe Sullivan, Gene Sullivan and Ray Sullivan. She is survived by her loving husband Jerry, her beloved children, Christie Johnson Erwin (Jeff), Jerry G. Johnson (Buffie) and Brad Johnson (Gina). She is also survived by her sisters Brenda Buchanan (Bob) and Doris Dill (Wayne), her baby brother Kenneth Sullivan (Betty), many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, and by her 18 amazing grandchildren; Chase Erwin (Holly), Caleb Erwin, Cara Erwin Schaefer (Boyd), Connor Erwin (Kayla), Serenity Erwin, Edward Erwin, Lacey Johnson, Cameron Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Hamilton Johnson, Keeley Johnson Stein (Caleb), Felicity Johnson Chen (James), Jessica Johnson, Noah Johnson, Nathan Johnson, Nash Johnson, Presley Martin and Brooke Martin, and 7 great-grandchildren with the eighth due in October, Asher, Isabella and Ezekiel Erwin, Tatum, Tenille and Teagen Schaefer, Zavier Erwin, and “Baby” Chen.

There are no words to express what our Mom/Boobah/Wife means to our close-knit family. She leaves an incredible legacy of love, prayer, and encouragement. She was a fierce lover of Jesus and of all people. She was the best encourager, uplifter, hugger, baby patter, lullaby singer and prayer warrior. 

A celebration of Sally's life will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Little Rock, 62 Pleasant Valley Dr., Little Rock, AR 72212. A private family burial will be held earlier in the day at Lonoke Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home, 201 E. 2nd Street, Lonoke, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Sally's honor may be made to Project Zero for the purchase of shoes for children in foster care (the Sally Shoe Fund) or P.O. Box 25430, Little Rock, AR 72221. Ouachita Baptist University, Development Department, Box 3754, Arkadelphia, AR 71998 (Sally Johnson Scholarship Fund), or First Baptist Church, 62 Pleasant Valley Dr., Little Rock, AR 72212.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anabel "Sally" Sullivan Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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