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Wilabel Johnson, 93, Wegatchie
Monday, December 5, 2011 - 6:49 pm

Wilabel G. Johnson, age 93, of Wegatchie, passed away at home on December 5, 2011 under the care of her family, friends, and Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley.

Calling hours will be at French Funeral Home, Gouverneur on Saturday, December 10, 2011 from 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. Her funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Pastor David Sheppard officiating. Burial will be in the Oxbow Cemetery.

Wilabel was born on April 10, 1918 in Pierces Corners to the late Arthur and Gladys (Goodison) Tulley. She graduated from Gouverneur High School in 1935 and was educated at the Diebert’s Business School in Philadelphia.

Wilabel married Roma LaPierre on September 1, 1948. Mr. LaPierre died in a car accident in 1954. She married Philip “Speed” Johnson on April 16, 1962. Mr. Johnson passed away on November 21, 1973.

Wilabel started her employment in the offices of the Natural Dam Paper Mill. She was a former secretary for B.O. Kinney, and ran the Hilltop Bar in Edwards for several years. Following her mother’s death in 1956, Wilabel took over the operation of the Riverside “Wegatchie” Hotel. She had continued to work and enjoy the bar until her health wouldn’t allow it.

Mrs. Johnson enjoyed playing cards and being with her friends and customers. She loved time spent at camp on Trout Lake and is a former league bowler.

Her survivors include two daughters, Patricia Cushman and her husband, Robert of Wegatchie, and Phyllis Farrell and her boyfriend, Kevin Tharrett of Oxbow; two stepsons, Milton Johnson of Louisiana and Brent Johnson of Hailesboro; four grandchildren, Sara D’Agostino, Edward Cushman, Tea LaBrake, and Samantha Cushman; and two great grandchildren, Chase Stowell and Vincent D’Agostino, Jr.

She was predeceased by her husband; her brother, Franklin Tulley who died in 1944 in France while fighting in WWII; and her son-in-law, Edward Farrell.

Donations given in memory of Wilabel may go to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US HWY 11, Potsdam NY 13676 or to a charity of one’s choice.