Katie Mae Johnson
Katie Mae Johnson was born November 2, 1933 in Jackson, Mississippi to the late Ellis and Amelia Carter. She was the last child of seven siblings. She was called “Lit Momma” and “Ms. Katie” by those who knew and loved her. She confessed a belief in Christ at an early age and was a member of 12th Street Baptist Church until God called her home.
Lit Momma was married to George Johnson for over thirty years. They had a wonderful marriage until his death in 2000.
Lit Momma always had an outgoing personality. She would talk to anybody. She made everyone feel special. She could be sweet, stubborn, and sassy at the same time. Nobody dared to cross her. In fact, when she had her mind set on something, no one could detour her from reaching her goal. She was very talented and skilled at cooking. She was very picky about her food and what she ate. Her pride in food translated into her being one of the best cooks in Caruthersville. Her family often teased her about “cooking for everybody in town.”
Lit Momma was an entrepreneur. She and her sister, Hoodah were especially known for their clubs. Two of the most memorable hangout spots were “The Sportman’s Hall” and “The Grill.” She enjoyed fishing, shopping, and watching the Price is Right and Family Feud. It was nothing to witness her getting in her truck hitting the highway. Although she was born and raised in the country, she truly enjoyed the finer things in life and did not want for anything.
Lit Momma returned to church and became not only an active member, but a mother in the church. She often drove herself to church instead of waiting for one of her sons to drop her off, or somebody to pick her up. She made sure she read her Bible. She enjoyed listening to her Pastor preach. During the global pandemic of 2020, the Pastor and members of 12th Street Baptist Church would often stop by and check on her and bring her communion. She indeed loved God and wanted others to know and experience the same wonderful change that she had experienced.
Lit Momma lived a full life. She always remained strong and hopeful, despite the trials of life. She was a fighter. She survived cancer, COVID, and several other health conditions. She was alert and clever, even at the nursing home, where she stayed until her last breath on February 3, 2021.
Lit Momma was preceded in death by her parents, Amelia and Ellis Carter, her sisters, Lille Bell Manning and Lorine Smith: and her four brothers Charles, Bob, Tom and Claude Roberts.
Lit Momma leaves to cherish her memory: one daughter, Joyce (Rodney) Harris, Little Rock, AR: two sons, Harvey “Mickey” and Terry Tyus, both of Caruthersville, MO; two stepdaughters Karen Youngblood and Wendy Johnson; one stepson, George Johnson, Jr., grandchildren, several great grands and great-great grands; a special nephew, Carl Young; and a host of relatives, family and friends.