Meet Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson (1927-2007) died July 2nd, 2007 of cancer (Central Nervous System Lymphoma) after a valiant 6 year fight against the disease. During her illness, she added four more books to her long list of published works, including one that takes humorous pokes at her life with cancer. Affectionately called the “Geranium Lady,” a title taken from her bestselling book, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy, her homespun humor and hope in God in the midst of tragedy, ministered to millions.

A strong Christian woman who relied on her faith in God and her sense of humor to persevere through many devastating experiences, her life was plagued by a string of tragedies. Her husband was in a near fatal accident and slowly recovered from debilitating injuries. She lost one son in Vietnam and another son to a drunk driver. Her third son was estranged from the family while pursuing a homosexual lifestyle. But, she emerged from these experiences having learned that though pain is inevitable, people can choose to pick flowers instead of weeds.

Her compassion extended far beyond the pages of her encouraging books. Wanting to use her own pain to help others, she and her husband Bill founded Spatula Ministries, a unique organization that uses a “spatula of love” to help parents “peel themselves off the ceiling” and begin on the road to recovery. She wrote her first book after reaching the age of 50 and was voted “Celebrity Mom of the Year” for 1996. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, she toured across the country as a popular conference speaker and part of the "Women of Faith" tour. Her many books have comforted millions of women, bringing them hope and humor in times of distress. She will be missed by many, but her life will live on in her numerous books.

Updated July 2009.

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