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Laura Johnson

After graduating from Central, I went to UT Martin for two years, then
earned at BS in zoology from Memphis State. I wandered the country
with my military husband and worked in positions as diverse as
developing a telephone crisis counseling service in Key West, to
running a Armed Services YMCA, to working with abused children and
their families, to performing public relations for the Brunswick, Maine
Humane Society. In my spare time, I earned a master's degree in
counseling, served on various boards, earned a national award for the Y
program "Coping with Deployment," and raised to two boys.

Returning to Memphis in 1984, post divorce, I worked as a social worker
in the Memphis Jewish Home and Allen Morgan Health Care with break in
the middle to set up the education programs at the zoo for the Farm
exhibit when it opened. At the Memphis Jewish Home, I was named to
most outstanding long term care social services worker in the state.
I've served on the Volunteer Center Board of Directors and worked as a
docent at the zoo.

Unfortunately, my health declined and I discovered that I had a
complication to my lipomyelomeningocele called tethered cord syndrome,
which according to NORD is a rare disorder. Surgery in 1997 was a bit
of a disaster and only delayed an inevitable need to stop working for a
short time. Now, when able, I volunteer at the Church Health Center
and at the School Board as a IEP student advocate.

My sons have settled in other parts of the country. The oldest lived in
Japan for 11 years and married a Japanese woman. Of course I had to
visit. You can see from this picture that I ate my way across the
country in soba noodles! Tim now lives in Lost Angeles. The youngest
lives in Pennsylvania and raises Burmese Pythons as a hobby. They have
provided me with four grandchildren.

As the only sibling in Memphis, care for my aging parents has fallen
in my lap. It can be a challenge to try to care for them and myself at
the same time. But life is change, growth is optional, we need to
choose wisely.....

Laura Johnson
Laura Johnson
Laura Johnson Vadney
Laura Johnson Vadney
Laura Johnson Vadney and son Tim in Japan
Laura Johnson Vadney and son Tim in Japan