Happy 100th Birthday Mrs. Thelma C. Johnson


When you reach certain milestones in your life, they absolutely should be celebrated. Also, everyone you know should be included in the celebrations. When you turn 100 your family, your friends, your church, and your community does just that. March 4, 2024 marked Mrs. Thelma C. Johnson’s 100th birthday, and she was celebrated. Making it to 100 also means you do not have to keep the celebration to one day. Mrs. Johnson celebrated all weekend.

Saturday, March 2 brought friends and family to Mrs. Johnson’s house. Community members rode by with honking horns and shouts of “Happy Birthday!” With gold balloons proudly announcing “100” over her, she greeted all those who came to see her. Her front yard was teeming with family, proudly wearing t-shirts proclaiming Mrs. Johnson’s 100th birthday, getting ready for the celebration. Sunday, March 3rd, Mt. Olive Baptist Church continued the celebration with a parade of parishioners. Pastor Andrew Cooper along with its deacons, and members all came together to help Mrs. Thelma Johnson celebrate her 100th Birthday with a church drive-by! They were escorted front and back with fire trucks from our Walterboro Fire Department and received assistance from one of our Walterboro Police Department units.

Mrs. Johnson was born in Belton, S.C. She worked the farm with her family from a very young age. Farm work is hard work and back then as soon as one was able they were out in the field and around the farm to help. So, Mrs. Johnson is no stranger to hard work. She left the farm and made her way to Walterboro when she put in an application to teach and was hired. For 30 years she worked as a first-grade teacher at Hampton Street Elementary shaping little ones’ minds in Walterboro. With a wry grin, she comments that students now are a bit different than they were then.

She married Mr. Ray T. Johnson 70 years ago, and they had two children. Now Mrs. Thelma’s little family has grown to 4 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Johnson has seen many, many events take place in her life. She has witnessed the beginning and the end of wars and conflicts, the civil rights movements, and the Information Age (a/k/a the Computer Age or Digital Age). In her lifetime there has been the early automobile and there have been astronauts who have landed on the moon. There have been 17 presidents thus far from Calvin Coolidge to Joe Biden. The time-frame of Mrs. Johnson’s life is astonishing and she has been there for it all.

If you ever get the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Johnson, sit down with her. We learn from those who are older than we are and who possess the wisdom we do not. She is soft spoken, but make no mistake, this lady taught small elementary school children for thirty years; she knows how to command a room.

We are privileged in Walterboro, to have such an outstanding member of the community who gave so much to the children she taught and to her family and friends. Happy 100th Birthday Mrs. Thelma C. Johnson!