Firelands Obituaries

Toft Funeral Home and Crematory
2001 Columbus Ave
Sandusky, OH 44870
Phone: 419-625-8816

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Barbara Jean (Swopes) Johnson

Barbara Jean (Swopes) Johnson , 70, Sandusky, was called home to the Lord on Sunday evening, October 30, 2011, at Amherst Manor, Amherst, Ohio.  


She was born on September 26, 1941, in Columbus, Mississippi, to the late Robert and Lettie B. (Butler) Swopes . 


Barb moved to Sandusky, Ohio with her family when she was a young girl.  She attended Sandusky City Schools, graduated from Sandusky High School and then furthered her education at Bowling Green State University Extension. 


On February 13, 1960, she was joined in marriage to the late Roudolph (Rudy) Johnson, whom she affectionately referred to as “Dolphie”.  Their union was blessed with three daughters, Eva Marie Johnson, Lorain, Ohio, Cheryl Lynne Johnson, Akron, Ohio and Tracy Ann Johnson-Croom, Cincinnati, Ohio, and one infant son, “Dino”, who died at birth.


Barb had a very quiet spirit, but was very vocal in sharing with everyone her firm belief that all things are possible with God.  Throughout her illness, she never lost her faith.  She was a lifelong member of The Assembly of Jesus Christ Church, Sandusky, first under the leadership of Elder Ben Fitzpatrick and currently under Elder Johnnie Cross, Jr.


Barb really loved watching “Matlock”.  She would sit and watch episodes over and over.  She also enjoyed watching the housing programs and the Food Network.  She loved food!  Once a dish was mentioned, she wasn’t satisfied until she was able to partake of that particular food.  Her family would often tease her about this.


Barb was employed by the Erie County Clerk of Courts from 1965 to 1967.  She then decided to dedicate herself to staying home with her children.  In 1970, she returned to work for the clerk’s office.  In 1988, Barb ran for the position of Erie County Clerk of Courts, and won!  She was the first African-American in all of Ohio counties to ever be elected to this position.  She was re-elected every four years despite being challenged in every election.  Barb proudly held the position of Erie County Clerk of Courts for 22 years.  On Monday, October 31, 2011, her intended retirement date, flags were flown at half-mast at Erie County offices in her honor.


She leaves to cherish her memory her three daughters; granddaughters, Kyla Joy Croom, Cincinnati, OH and Shelby Lynne Johnson-McMillan, Akron, OH; sisters, Geneva (Bobby) Parker and Diane (Tony) Matthews, both of Sandusky, OH, Mary “Rose” Irby, Dacula, GA, Teresa Swopes, Madison, WI and Lois Starver, Pittsburgh, PA; one brother, Duwayne Swopes, Lorain, OH; cherished cousin, Minister Tom Hayes, Sandusky, OH; nieces and nephews whom she enjoyed a close relationship with, Antoya L. Ashford and Jeanette Ashford, both of Sandusky, OH, Dale L. Matthews, Castle, DE, and Louis Johnson, Jr., Upper Marlboro, MD, god-daughter, Shantelle Ashford, “adopted” son Thes McMillan, Akron, OH; and “adopted” brother, Artie Castile, Sandusky, OH; a host of other  nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and sisters and brothers in Christ.


Barb was preceded in death by her husband; infant son; parents and step-mother, Ida B. Swopes; brothers, James Earl, Robert Earl; infant sister, Willie Bob, and sister, Bettie Jean (William) Anderson; very close cousin, Odell Thomas; and very special aunt, Elizabeth Roberson.


Friends may call on Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 11 AM until time of funeral services at 12 Noon in Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1215 Pierce St., Sandusky.  Elder Johnnie Cross will officiate.  Burial will be in Meadow Green Memorial Park, Huron.  Toft Funeral Home & Crematory, 2001 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, is assisting with arrangements.  Condolences may be shared at