KEENE, N.H. – Dorothy Ridley Johnson, 87, died peacefully at her 197 Water St. home Wednesday, March 6, 2019, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. She is finally together again with her beloved husband of 63 years, Stanley B. Johnson, whom she married Jan. 12, 1952.
Dot was born in East Swanzey, N.H. Feb. 29, 1932, the daughter of Kenneth and Pauline Marsh Ridley. She graduated from Keene High School and attended Keene Nursing School. Dottie and Stan made their family home in Alstead, N.H. After years as a full-time wife and mother, Dot returned to nursing school and worked many years as a nurse at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, with Home Health Care & Community Services, and doing private patient care.
Dot will be remembered as a loving mother, a caring friend, a competitive golfer, an avid bingo player, and an incredible baker. She was well known for sharing her delicious pies, angel food cakes, doughnuts, cookies, and whoopee pies with family and friends. In her earlier years, Dot loved to dance with Stan at every opportunity, sometimes even in the kitchen. In her later years, Dot happily accepted the role of honorary “mother” and “mom” to many of the loving staff at Bentley Commons, where she resided.
Dot’s family, who were the center of her life, included three daughters and one son Susan Esslinger (Junie) of Alstead, N.H., Carlene Hellus (Chip) of Dummerston, Vt., Kathy Johnson (Amos Baehr) of Montpelier, Vt., and Scott Johnson (Brenda Hakey) of Alstead, N.H.; eight grandchildren Kimberly Cheeney (Bryan), Graham Esslinger (Crystal), Stacey Esslinger (Jason), Gregory Esslinger (Emily), Michelle Flibotte, Andrea Hope (David), Kristopher Flibotte, Alyssa Johnson-Kurts (Adin); eight great-grandchildren Dave, Lily, Devyn, Eliza, Brooke, Dean, Mitchell, Mason; and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband whom she lovingly cared for throughout his life. She is also predeceased by her parents and two sisters, Kathryn Whitney and Janet Jefts.
There will be calling hours Friday, March 15, from 6-8 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. All services will be at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, Vt. Following the Saturday service, family and friends are invited to a reception at the Alstead Fire Station.
As Dot was a longtime supporter of Alzheimer’s research, donations in Dot’s memory may be made at www.act.alz.org/goto/InMemoryofDotJohnson or via postal mail to Alzheimer’s Association Team “Giving Care 24/7” for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, 166 South River Rd., Suite 210, Bedford, N.H. 03110.