Joanne (Lowell) Johnson
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Newbury, MA - Joanne (Lowell) Johnson, aged 71, a longtime resident of Newbury, Mass., died early Thursday morning, September 12, 2019, following a brief and unexpected illness. She was the devoted wife of 49 years to Ralph. F. Johnson Jr.
Born in Boston on February 27, 1948, Joanne was the daughter of the late Percival M. and Gertrude W. (Dole) Lowell, and represented, along with husband Ralph, the 10th generation in a family of local builders of wooden boats still active in the marine business. She grew up in Newbury and was a graduate of the Pingree School, in South Hamilton, and of Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. She also received a master's degree from the University of Virginia.
Beginning in 1970, Joanne served in executive positions at the Essex Bank, headquartered in Peabody, Mass., and its corporate successors, retiring in 2012 as a Vice President from Bank of America, in Charlotte, N.C. Following her retirement, she served as an occasional consultant to TD Bank.
Joanne was actively involved in her community. She was a member of the Newburyport Choral Society for 46 years, serving at various times as its President, Treasurer, and member of the Development Team, as well as supporting its performances with her strong alto voice. She was also a longtime member of the Ascension Memorial Episcopal Church of Ipswich, where she sang in the choir, chaired the hospitality committee, and served as an auditor.
In addition to local community activities, Joanne volunteered her services to the Girl Scouts of America and to the Wells College community.
On behalf of the national Girl Scout organization, she oversaw the consolidation of the three independent Councils representing the environs of Boston and the North Shore into the single, integrated, Eastern Massachusetts Council, and served as the first President of its Board of Directors. She was awarded the "Thanks Badge," the Girl Scouts' highest adult honor, for her 50 years of dedicated service to scouting.
For her dedication to Wells College, where she served as both the President of the Alumni Council and a member of the College Board of Trustees, Joanne was awarded the Wells College Alumnae Award in 2008.
When not busy with her varied work and volunteer activities, Joanne immersed herself in her love of cooking and was well regarded among her friends and family as a gourmet chef.
In addition to her husband, Ralph, Joanne is survived by: brother Percival Marcus Lowell Jr. and his wife Marita, of Acton, Maine; mother-in-law Viola J. Brocklebank Johnson, of Rowley, Mass.; brother-in-law Jon Jay Johnson and his wife Mary, of Newmarket, N.H.; brother-in-law Richard G. Warner, of Billerica, Mass.; two nephews and one niece, Augustus Percival Lowell and his wife Lisa Taylor, of Durham, N.H., Dana Marcus Lowell and his wife Elizabeth Fabel, of Newburyport, Mass., and Sarah Rose Johnson and her fiancé Jason Forbes, of Middleton, N.H.; three great nephews, Josiah Lowell, Caldwell Lowell, and Austin Lowell; two great-nieces, Phoebe Lowell and Aurora Lowell; four cousins, Beth-Anne Locke, Jeffrey Fillmore and his wife Lesley, Craig Fillmore and his wife Lauren, and Barbara J. Fernald and her husband Glenn; extended family members, her beloved dog, Jill, and a host of people who loved, respected, and admired her.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 2 p.m., at the Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High Street, Newburyport. Funeral service and burial will be private for the family.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider making a donation in her memory to one of the following charities: Newburyport Choral Society, P.O. Box 92, Newburyport, MA 01950; Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, 420 Boylston Street, Suite 505, Boston, MA 02116,; or Wells College, Office of Advancement, 170 Main Street, Aurora, NY 13026,
Published on September 16, 2019


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Karin Gregory, Class of 1980
Oct 31, 2019
Dear Ralph-I am so very sorry for your loss of the love of your life. I just learned of this from the Wells Express. I am sorry that I didn't know about this sooner so I could have attended the service. You and Joanne were great supporters of Wells, and of me when I was new to the Boston area. You and she are a role model for a great marriage of equals. Joanne was an amazing advocate for business women and for Wells. She has left a lasting and positive impression on the world and on the lives she touched. She will be forever in your heart and those of us she was so supportive of. Hugs, Karin
Kathleen Wiggins
Oct 19, 2019
A memorial tree was planted in memory of Joanne (Lowell) Johnson.  Plant a tree
Jessica Moran '94
Oct 09, 2019
Ralph, Joanne was a caring and thoughtful mentor. I will not forget how when we got stuck in a snow storm on our way to the Syracuse airport, and she knew just what to do to keep us warm and safe. She was so bright. Together you were always both so warm and kind. Thank you. I'm sorry I won't be on the north shore Saturday, but will be thinking of her in Aurora, our shared home away from home. I ache for your loss and send you peace and love. Jessi
Cori (Benedix)Kingsley
Sep 20, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of Joanne's passing. My parents were life long members of Ascension church, and she and Ralph were so wonderful when both my parents passed in the last year. My families condolences go to Ralph and the rest of their family.
Ellie Cutler
Sep 19, 2019
Dear Ralph - I am so sorry to hear about Joanne. She was such a treasure, and a truly amazing woman. I have been proud to know you both. Love and peace to you - Ellie.
Alison Walter Martin - Wells '71
Sep 19, 2019
Ralph - Joanne was a wonderful person - smart, witty, fun, & caring - as well as highly accomplished. The world has lost a true gem. She will be sorely missed. This comes with heartfelt condolences - Alison
Ed and Susan Hammer
Sep 17, 2019
Ralph, please accept our condolences. Joanne was a strong and caring person and will be missed by many. We will never forget the kindness both you and Joanne extended to Ed and I during a difficult time for us. Ed will always remember the time working at the Boat Shop as a life changing opportunity. Ed and Sue
Suzanne Doty, '71
Sep 16, 2019
Joanne was a very special, very smart and exceedingly kind woman. We shall all miss her.
May you and your family find peace.
Patricia (Adams) Justicia-Linde, Wells '70
Sep 16, 2019
Dear Ralph and Family,
Pepe and I were shocked and saddened to learn of Joanne's passing. Even during our college days she was a mover and a shaker, a no-nonsense presence who got things done, but who could still have fun. May she rest in peace.