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Blanche H. Johnson

February 17, 1927 ~ November 2, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Blanche Johnson Obituary

Blanche H. Johnson, died peacefully on November 2, 2023, in her lovely apartment at The Atria in New York City’s Upper West Side.

A lifelong lover of music, she played and taught classical piano both privately and at Drew Seminary for Young Women in Carmel, NY and at Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, NY.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music at Catholic University in Washington, DC and a Masters in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.

Blanche came to Manhattan in 1947 to study with Frank Sheridan at Mannes School of Music.  She moved into the Y.W.C.A.'s Studio Club Residence, on 77th Street near Third Avenue, which was home to many young aspiring musicians.  There, she made lifelong friends who would later form the Piano Group on Long Island, an informal gathering of pianists who supported each other through their careers, growing families and life in general.  Continuing more than 70 years, this group, the focus of a WLIW special, provided Blanche with many lifelong friends.

Blanche was also active in the Westchester Musician’s Guild, and for many years edited its newsletter.

During her time at Hoff-Barthelson, she met and befriended Beverly Ehret.  Together, they studied and mastered a large repertoire of Piano Four-Hands, which they performed at large for many years.  Playing piano can be a lonely instrument, and working with Beverly on Piano Four-Hands was the most enjoyable collaboration of her musical life.

Blanche was a person of joy who laughed easily, and also bore an elegance and sophistication that derived from the educated and cultured woman that she was.  She’s been described as having a gentle and strong spirit with the best qualities of a true Southern Lady, having been raised in Ft. Worth, TX.

She married Edward L. Johnson in 1950, with whom she got to travel the world.  Blanche and Ted went round the world twice, seeing more than 40 countries in countless trips over the years, with stops at K2, balloon riding in France and jumping out of helicopters onto glaciers in Northern Canada.  Blanche was happiest in Switzerland, the land of her father’s family, and a frequent choice for her idea of a perfect holiday.

She is predeceased by her husband, three brothers, Gerson, Mark & George and her sister, Elizabeth Ann.  She is survived by her sons Mark E. Johnson of San Mateo, CA and Christopher L. Johnson of New York City as well as two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She lived a long and full life, much loved by her children, grandchildren, plus countless family and friends.  A celebration of her life will be held near the greatest concentration of family in California, with her internment next to her husband in Hillsdale, NY.

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