Martha was born on January 7, 1940 to Calvin Smith and Lula Lee Pettway in Camden, Alabama. Raised by her grandparents Ike(Papa) Pettway and Frances Smith. She attended Camden Academy and worked hard on the farm. Martha moved to Pensacola, Florida to live with her father in 1958 where she met and married her husband Willie Johnson in 1959,who together had 4 children. After her husband’s death in 1965
She moved to Mobile, Alabama where she lived for 12 years until she relocated to Altadena, California in 1979.She loved to cook and shop. Her favorite pass time was playing cards, Dominoes and Craps. She also love to sing and dance (Something she passed on to her eldest daughter Joanne) . Martha was a loving mother, strong & stern. She taught all of her children to be self sufficient and to provide and take care of themselves. Raising her children as single parent, providing and taking care of them the best way she could. For anyone who knew” Sweetcake” knew that she was not afraid to speak her mind. She said what she wanted and to whom she wanted to say it to. Like it or not, this is what you got. Martha did have a big heart. She helped others and was a good resource to those who needed help and came to her for help. She obtained her CNA certification in 1993. She enjoyed being a healthcare provider. Later in life Martha joined Community Baptist Church in Pasadena, California. Martha was a huge fan of the Los Angeles LAKERS. Earvin “Magic Johnson” was her favorite player.
She also liked Kobe Bryant. Everything stopped in the house when the lakers were playing, especially when they played the Boston Celtics. She had a big beautiful smile and knew how to command a room . She was the life of the party everywhere she went, and you knew that she was there.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Willie Johnson, parents: Calvin Smith and Lula L. Grimes, 6 brothers: James, Charlie(Paul), David(Pee-Wee) Charles, Eddie and Leroy.
She is survived by 9 Children: Earnest (Marcia) Pettway-California, Joanne(David) Cooke-California Columbus(Tina) Johnson-California Ruthie(Edmund)Pettaway-Georgia Denise(Toro)Cade-Georgia, Deborah(Isaac III) Johnson-Georgia, Monica Johnson Tate –Alabama, Erika L. Johnson-California, David(Sharon)Johnson-California; Three Brothers: Willie(Pearlie)Pettway, Jessie(Ann)Pettway, Tony (Stephanie)Pettway; Four Sisters: Ruth Ford, Loudella Cooper, Laura Ann Pettway, Linda Ann Pettaway; 22 Grandchildren: Vincent Johnson, Marcus Williams, Lakitha Caldwell, Clarence Johnson, Alonzo Robinson, Ronnie Williams, Galvin Shamburger, Julian Johnson, Tashay Johnson, Tatiana Johnson, Isaac Johnson IV, Devin Tate, Earnest Pettway Jr., Willie Williams, Reginald Johnson, Juanita Johnson, Erika Johnson Jr. David Johnson, Malik Johnson, Dylan Johnson, Tiara Johnson, 12 Great-Grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends
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