Obituaries

Brenda Joyce Johnson-Rowell

Ypsilanti, MI formerly of Prescott, AR

Brenda Joyce Johnson-Rowell, affectionately called “BJ” by those who knew her best, transitioned to Glory at the age of 66 on November 13, 2019 in Texarkana, Arkansas following a courageous battle with the incurable disease, Polymyositis. 

It was a joyous day on July 8, 1953 when Clevester June Rose Randle and Wade Vanhook Jr. welcomed twin sisters Brenda & Linda into the world. It was at an early age, Brenda accepted Christ and joined Ward Chapel AME Church in Prescott, Arkansas, where she was a devoted member until the age of 18 when she moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan. She then united with the Metropolitan Memorial Missionary Baptist Church. Later her membership moved to Ekklesia Fellowship Ministries under Rev. Victoria James, where she served in the choir, the culinary department, the Christian Women in Unity Retreat Committee, and anywhere else she was asked. 

Brenda graduated from Prescott High School in 1972. She was a member of the Chorale Club and the Pep Squad. She had a beautiful voice and sang in various community choirs. She furthered her education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she studied the field of Social Work earning her Bachelors of Science degree in 1990. It was one of the proudest days of her life.

In her early years, Brenda worked at the McRae School Cafeteria, Tyson Foods, Trojans Cleaners, Estabrook Elementary School, and Ypsilanti Seafood Market. Her final job before falling ill was at Father Patrick Jackson House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was a social worker helping disadvantaged pregnant teens.

 Brenda was happily married to Terry James Rowell (TJ), her partner in life, for 45 years at the time of her departure.  Brenda was a woman of strong faith and high moral standards, who doted endearingly on her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. As the eldest, Brenda took a natural role in caring for her siblings and carried this trait throughout the entirety of her life. 

She was of a caring nature and great integrity, which caused her to be loved by everyone that she encountered. She never made an enemy and all who encountered her presence fell in love with her spirit.  

Besides spending time with her family and special friends, some of Brenda’s favorite hobbies included cooking, singing, traveling, EATING, watching Lifetime TV and crime shows, such as Snapped, Dateline, and Fatal Attraction.

Brenda touched many lives with her generosity, loyalty, resilience, and strong faith. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her; the precious memories will live on with us forever.

She is preceded in death by her Grandmother: Florida Dixon, Grand Parents: Wade Sr. & Stella Vanhook, Parents: JD & Clevester June Rose Randle, her twin sister Linda Johnson, Bonus Brothers: Eugene Hopson Jr., Calvin Henry, Jerry Randle, Mitchell Randle and Granddaughter: Mikayla Renee Nelson. 

She leaves to cherish her memory her Husband: Terry James Rowell of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Children: Crystal (Aaron) Weir of Ypsilanti, Michigan & Terri Whitt of Texarkana, Arkansas. Bonus Son: Eric (Lisa) Kersey of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Grandchildren: Brianna Weir of Ypsilanti, Michigan and Laila Nelson of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Siblings: Gail Stamps of Inglewood, California, Carolyn (Bill) Todd of Prescott, Arkansas, Dennis (Pamela) Hopson of Prescott, Arkansas, Diane (Richard) Axle of Allen, Texas, Cheryl (Randolph) Vanhook of Prescott, Arkansas, Michael Hopson of Inglewood, California, Camilla Hopson of Prescott, Arkansas, Roy (Hope) Hopson of Camden, Arkansas and Romanta (Michelle) Vanhook of Florissant, Missouri. Bonus Siblings: Verdia Nash of Cartersville, Georgia, Brenda (Jeff) Cary of Cartersville, Georgia, Harold (Gerri) Hopson of Charlotte, North Carolina, Janice Bullock of Vallejo, California, Pattie Hopson of Richmond, California, Billy (Larosa) Randle of Prescott, Arkansas, Russell (Paula) Randle of Prescott, Arkansas, Don Randle of Prescott, Arkansas and  Sandra (Tyra) Randle of  Fort Worth,Texas. Aunts: Patricia Roberts of Prescott, Arkansas, Beverly (Eddie) Thomas of Texarkana, Texas, an Uncle Bennie Dixon of Prescott, Arkansas, Lifelong friends: Katherine Griffin & Pearlie Gray, Goddaughter: Tawuann Bell, Cherished friends: Rena Burroughs, Virginia Burroughs, Betty Anderson and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation will be 12-3pm Friday at the funeral home and 5-7pm Friday at Ward Chapel AME Church in Prescott.  Funeral service will be 11am Saturday, November 23 at Munn’s Chapel Baptist Church, 1017 Moncrief Street, Prescott, Arkansas.  Interment will be at Deann Cemetery in Prescott.  Arrangements entrusted to Hicks Funeral Home, Inc.

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