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Grace Butler Johnson, 79

Longtime Blawenburg Resident

November 22, 1944  -  April 6, 2024


Grace Butler Johnson

Grace Butler Johnson, a longtime resident of Blawenburg, NJ, died surrounded by family at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ on Saturday, April 6.


Grace was born on November 22, 1944 in Memphis, TN to Jonathan Fairchild Butler and Mary Elizabeth Putnam. She grew up on Manursing Way in Rye, NY, where she attended the Rye Country Day School and spent her summers learning to sail at the American Yacht Club. She attended high school at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT and then went on to major in French at Sweet Briar College (VA), where she played field hockey and lacrosse. She had many happy memories of her time at Sweet Briar and was an instrumental part of the recent “Save Sweet Briar” fundraising campaign.


After college, Grace lived in New York City, where she worked as a social worker and then held a position with Citibank. While living there, she met her husband of nearly 51 years, Jotham Johnson. They were married in Rye, NY in 1971.


They moved together to Blawenburg, NJ in 1972, and Grace became heavily involved in the Blawenburg Reformed Church. She held many leadership positions in the church and in the Delaware-Raritan Classis, the regional governance of the Reformed Church in America. At Blawenburg Reformed Church, she served as deacon, elder, and vice president of consistory.


She also initiated the Tentoonstelling and Sinterklaas fundraisers in the Dutch tradition. Gracie led the CROP walk for hunger for many years, and served the cemetery, properties, and worship teams. Grace also served numerous terms on the local classis, including a term as its president.


Her commitment to the church did not stop with Blawenburg. Involved for many years with the regional synod, she was described as an enthusiastic volunteer who was generous with her time, talents, and support. In addition to her role as president of the regional synod for two years, she also served on the synod’s executive committee, cultural diversity team, and lay recognition dinner planning committee.


Grace devoted her life to helping and caring for others - be it in the church, the community, her family where she raised three children, or her husband Jotham.


Grace is survived by her three children: Alex and his wife Andrea; Tom and his wife Leigh Morrison; and Sarah and her husband Josh Hendrick; and her brother, Jonathan Butler. She was especially proud of her three grandchildren: Gabriel, Victoria and Harper. She is predeceased by her parents, her sister Sally Butler Somers, her sister Nancy Butler White, and her husband Jotham Johnson.


A celebration of life service will be held at the Blawenburg Reformed Church, 424 Route 518, Skillman, NJ 08558 (BlawenburgChurch.org) at 11 am on Saturday, June 8, with a celebration and reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Gracie may be made to Blawenburg Reformed Church, PO Box 266, Blawenburg, NJ 08504.

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