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Laura E. (Van Matre) Johnson 97, of Chester passed away peacefully Monday, March 4, at her daughter’s home in Calcutta, Oh. where she resided for the past 18 months. Her loving family at her side.
Born April 28, 1921, in West Columbia, West Virginia she was the daughter of the late Margaret Gower, Van Matre, McComb, and Homer Van Matre. Laura was proceeded in death by her husband of 76 years, Alton “Mose” Johnson, whom she married Nov. 4, 1939. Also proceeding her in death was her step-father Fred McComb, her daughter Judy Lewis, a very special great-granddaughter Jasmine Renee Call, sisters Adeline Murray, Nina Mae Van Matre, a brother Ivan Van Matre Sr. as well as a niece Cheryl Roach and nephews Randy Roach and Tom Van Matre.
Survivors include her daughters Ginny Jackson (Bob) of Chester and Bonnie Linkous (Frank) of Calcutta. Margie Ashby (Jerry) of St. Mary’s Wv., who was like a sister. Grandchildren Jodi Jackson (Rich) Owen, Traci Jackson (Mike) Watson, Bob Jackson, Kim Lewis (Donald) Aldridge, Jamie Lewis, Kari Linkous (Rob) Miller, Bryan (Danielle) Linkous and Trisha Nicholas. Great Grandchildren Brianne and Lynzi Owen, Dominic Jackson, Christian Cooper, Austin Miller, Bryce Linkous, Brett Korcha, Maddison and Rivers Nicholas. There are three special sisters-law, Lorna Johnson, of West Columbia, Mary Capehart, of Moundsville, Doris Roberts of Mason and nephews Ivan Van Matre Jr, whom she helped raise, and Shell Davis.
Laura will be best remembered for her love of family and her long history of cooking for everyone. Beside family dinners, Laura worked as a cook for her uncle Herman at Gower’s Restaurant in Chester, as well as a cook for the former Chester Elementary school. She also helped to prepare catered events for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, post 6450 of Chester as well as running their Friday Fish Fry.
Laura was a Life Member of the VFW Lady’s Auxiliary, where she served as president multiple times as well as held every other office at one time or another, including several offices at the district level.
Along with serving the VFW Lady’s Auxiliary, Laura was also an active member of the American Legion Lady’s Auxiliary, unit 121, where she held several offices, and of course, cooked with them as well.
Calling hours will be at the Arner Funeral Chapel in Chester on Wednesday, March 6 from 4-8 p.m. Services will be Thursday, March 7 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with family friend, Pastor Rick Dawson officiating.
Interment will be at Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens in Newell.