On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the Lord called home his beloved daughter, VERGIE FLEMING JOHNSON. She was born on March 11, 1949, in Halifax County, North Carolina, and was the second of nine children born to the late Deacon Glenn Fleming and Evelyn Thompson Fleming.
Vergie, also known as “Lady”, received her formal education in the Halifax County Public School System and graduated from the former John Armstrong Chaloner High School in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, with the class of 1967. She furthered her education at Durham Business College in Durham, North Carolina, and was awarded her diploma in Secretarial Science in 1969. Upon graduation, she returned to her home in Roanoke Rapids, where she landed an iconic position with Albemarle Paper Company becoming the first African American woman to integrate the Mill’s business office. Her position opened the doors for other African Americans to follow in subsequent roles.
Vergie was dedicated to her family, her church, and her community. She was raised and served in the church as an usher at Carter’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
On March 16, 1975, Vergie was united in holy matrimony to the late Frank Earl Johnson of Tillery, North Carolina. From this union, god blessed them with two children: Marcus and Daphne. Early in the marriage, she ended her employment with Albemarle Paper Company to focus on raising her children as a stay at home mother and to unite with her husband in starting their own businesses. Tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit and partnership with her husband,
Frank, God lead them on a course to open a Community Store (Earl’s Grocery), tax services, and eventually to begin their legacy in the Ag industry with Johnson Farms. She was very active in the agricultural community as well, and became a long serving board member of the FSA.
Although Vergie remained a faithful member of the Carter’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, she was beloved by her husband’s church, Tillery Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and became a pillar of the community.
The unexpected death of her husband in 2009 left Vergie to decide on whether or not she would continue farming. She took on the charge without hesitation. She not only continued to farm in existing land, but continued to expand by purchasing more farm land and property to grow their legacy. Her work did not go unnoticed. As one of the few females in the area, she received several accolades, including first place in Halifax County’s 2011 Cotton Yield Contest for her acreage division.
Vergie was preceded in death by her husband of thirty-four years, Frank Earl Johnson; parents, Glen and Evelyn Thompson Fleming; older brother, John Glenn Fleming; brothers-in-law, Leon Esau Johnson and Shade “Ben” Johnson, Jr.
She leaves to cherish her memory two children: Marcus Earl Johnson, Sr. (Nikki) of Wendell, NC; Daphne Vernita Johnson of Tillery, NC; stepdaughter, Kimberly Johnson Hopson (Kenny) of Halifax, NC; her grandchildren, who were the loves of her life, Alanah, Marcus, Jr. “MJ”, Ansaar, Alyssa, and Iman; devoted brothers and sisters, Gilbert Harde Fleming, Sr. (Joyce), Franklin T. T. Fleming, Manuel Carmen Fleming, Eliza Fleming, Avery Dale Fleming, Byron Lorenzo Glen Fleming, Sr., and Angela Fleming Cotton (Maurice); loving aunt, Vergie Thompson Pope; siblings-in-law, Mary McGee, Milton Johnson, and Barbara Hardy; dearest friends, Jerol Hale and Catherine Kittrell; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and many, many close friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the Tillery Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 40 Community Center Road, Halifax, NC. Pastor Anthony Flowers will eulogize, and Pastor, Elder Raychon McCoy will officiate. Burial will follow in the Harvey Family Cemetery in Halifax, NC. The body will repose at the funeral home from 12:00 Noon – 8:30 P.M. on Friday, April 19, 2019, and at the church for one hour prior to the funeral time.