Sarah Ernestine McNeely

Sarah Ernestine McNeely
August 4, 1924 – April 14, 2016
Sarah Ernestine McNeely was born on August 4, 1924 in Austin, Texas. She was the only child born to loving parents,
Walter and Mable White. In her formative years, Sarah became a member of Rock Quarry Baptist Church. When her
family moved to a different part of Austin, she transferred her membership to David Chapel Baptist Church.
Sarah received her primary and secondary education in Austin, Texas. Shortly after graduating from high school, her
parents divorced. Her mother remained in Austin, Texas; however, her father moved to San Diego, California. On Saint
Patrick’s Day in 1944, Sarah travelled to San Diego to visit her father. Her plan to visit for only a month culminated into a
72 year long stay. Within a few months after her arrival to San Diego, Sarah gained employment with Convair, now
known as General Dynamic.
While working the graveyard shift, she Sarah met Arthur Johnson. Arthur and Sarah were united in holy matrimony on
December 30, 1945. The newlyweds, while living in Linda Vista, decided that Sarah would leave her position at Convair
in anticipation of having children. They became members of Linda Vista Second Baptist Church, under Pastor of O.T.
McWilliams. They later relocated to Southeast San Diego when they purchased their own home and united with Bethel
Baptist Church. Although she was a member of Bethel Baptist Church, her favorite worship services were Easter
Sunrise Services at Calvary Baptist Church under Dr. S.M. Lockridge. The Lord blessed their union with three sons and
four daughters. After 16 years of marriage, Sarah suffered the loss of her husband. She became a widow, with the
awesome responsibility of caring for and raising 7 children ranging in age from 15 years old to 15 months. As time
passed, Sarah was united in holy matrimony to Wesley McNeely on March 26, 1963. To this union, one daughter was
As a wife and stay at home mother, Sarah was devoted to her family. She took pride in caring for and meeting their dayto-
day needs. She was also blessed to be able to see her husband off to work, prepare her children and send them off to
school each morning and to be present to greet each of them when they returned home. Her love and devotion crossed
generational lines as she moved from the role of mother to grandmother to great-grandmother and great-greatgrandmother.
Many children in her lineage were blessed to receive the same love and nurturing care their parents had
received while growing up. Sarah was very sociable and was well-known by many in her community. She was also
affectionately known as “Aunt Sarah” to the children of her friends and neighbors.
Sarah was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Wesley, her great granddaughter Tierra Easter and her sonsin-
law Larry Allen and Eugene Williams.
On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Sarah was called from earthly labor to eternal rest at La Jolla Nursing & Rehab Center, in
La Jolla, CA. She is cherished in memory by her 8 children which include three sons, William Johnson (Doris), Steven
Johnson and John Johnson Sr. (Saundra); five daughters, Darlene Johnson, Margaret Johnson, Terri Allen, Mary
Johnson (J.R.) and Fayrene Weaver (Marvin), all of San Diego, CA; 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, 8 greatgreat-
grandchildren and a host of cousins and many other relatives and friends who will mourn her passing, yet
celebrate her life.
Sarah leaves with each of us her rich legacy which lives on in the long lineage of her family. Although Sarah’s physical
body is gone, she is still with us in our hearts and precious memories forever. As we celebrate her life and reflect on all
the good times we shared along the way, we celebrate the blessed gift of her presence in the hearts and lives of so
many during her 91 years.

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