On September 19, 2020, Johnnie Mae Hannah who was born on August 13, 1939 to James and Lovie May (Byrd) Hannah of Kennedy, Alabama, transitioned from the body and into the glorious, face-2-face presence of Father God, up close and in spirt. Her mother, Lovie, had transitioned while Johnnie was still a toddler, so she was separated from her siblings and raised by relatives in Montgomery, Alabama. However, at the onset of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Johnnie was sent to Buffalo, New York to live with Hattie M. Hall, the relative that became, without a doubt, her mother. In Buffalo, Johnnie graduated from Lafayette High School, where she received honors for both academics and sports. Continuing her education, Johnnie received a Bachelor’s degree from Bryant and Stratton College and a Master’s degree from the University of Buffalo. In 1962, she met and married Alvin Hodges, and they had two beautiful daughters, Lisa and Sharon who were the light of her life. Having spent nine years working at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and attending school at the same time, Johnnie decided to leave her position there and do what she was absolutely created to do, be an educator. As a professor at Erie Community College (ECC), City Campus for over 24 years, Johnnie used her gifts and talents to equip students for success in business and in life. She was instrumental in educating women in the classroom and through programs that allowed them to leave welfare and the prison system equipped to obtain employment. At ECC, she also was an New York State administrator for the civil service exam and an active participant with the National Education Association (NEA).
Johnnie’s servant leader’s heart was seen in the organizations where she volunteered, participated, and served in local and QDWLRQDOOHDGHUVKLSSRVLWLRQV6KHZDVWKHSHRSOHōVDGYRFDWHVWD\LQJIDLWKIXOWRWKHƓJKWDJDLQVWUDFLVPDVDOLIHWLPHPHPEHU of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was in leadership with the National Bowling Association and her esteemed sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. At St. John Baptist Church, Johnnie, known as Sister Hodges, served under all three pastors: Reverends McCarley, Smith, and ministry, assistant church clerk, member of the Christian Education Ministry, and the Progressive National Baptist Convention choirs, the Bells and the United Voices.
Travel, across country or globally, was one of Johnnie’s joys and she always encouraged others to join her. She relished in packing her suitcase in preparation for the next adventure in the car or on a plane. As a mother and grandmother Johnnie has officially passed the duty of unconditional love to her daughters Lisa R. Hodges (Lanham, MD) and Sharon (Sherry) D. Green (Bowie, MD), her beloved grandson, John’al LB Green, and to all of the relatives, friends and colleagues who were always her FAMILY.
On Saturday, September 19, 2020, Johnnie M. Hodges entered into eternal life. Family will receive friends on Thursday, October 1, from 12 noon until 1pm at St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell Street, Buffalo, New York. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York , 14204.
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