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Anastasia Thomas Johnson

Anastasia Thomas Johnson

Jan 14, 2024

Anastasia Thomas Johnson - Obituary


n Sunday, January 14, 2024, Anastasia Thomas Johnson, passed away in Washington, DC; the beloved mother of Kevin Johnson and Leslie (Dwayne) Bond; sister of WIlliam Thomas and Theresa Govan ; grandmother of Jarami, Imani and Kamin Bond. She is also survived by many other relatives and friends. Anastasia Thomas (Pearl) Johnson, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who led a life filled with familial love, civic pride, community awareness, arts appreciation and quiet faith, peacefully departed this life and transitioned to her heavenly home on January 14, 2024. Anastasia was born on August 18, 1944, at the District of Columbia General Hospital, the first of three children of William and Frances Thomas. A proud third-generation Washingtonian, she was raised in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood with her younger siblings William (Jimmy) Thomas Jr. and Theresa Govan. While living there, her uncle Joe gave Anastasia her lifelong nickname, “Pete,” which was short for “Popsicle Pete.” Anastasia’s close-knit siblings say that she was like a second mother. One of their most prominent memories of young Anastasia is of her bossy yet efficient, parental-like nature. As the eldest child, she was naturally left in charge while their parents were not at home, and Anastasia was more than up to the task. Once while she was watching her brother and sister, their mother returned to the apartment to test her. She attempted to gain entry by using a different voice and pretending to be a stranger. Suffice to say, the door was not opened. Anastasia often kept her nose in the books while Theresa and Jimmy preferred finding their fun outdoors. Some of their friends did not even know they had an older sister. “She was always practical. She just liked to study all the time. She read her books. She was the teacher, and we were the students,” they say of their well-read big sister. While growing up, Anastasia and her family attended St. Cyprian Church. Her early education included Richardson Elementary School, Shadd Elementary School, St. Cyprian School, and St. Cecilia’s High School, all located in Washington, D.C. After graduating from St. Cecilia’s in 1962, she was the first in her immediate family to attend college, studying for two years at D.C. Teachers College. She would later receive additional training at the Office of Personnel Management, USDA Graduate School and American University. Anastasia married Francis Cyprian Johnson in 1964, and they became the proud parents of two children, Kevin Cyprian Johnson and Leslie Anastasia Johnson. She was a loving and dedicated mother who led by example and invested greatly in her children’s lives. Anastasia had a profound, unconditional love for her family, showing up for any and all the major events in her children and grandchildren's lives, not to mention also being present for her siblings, nieces and nephews. She was a family cheerleader, indeed. Not only did she enjoy hosting family in her home for the holidays, but she also looked forward to visiting the homes of her children and grandchildren in St. Louis, Missouri and Charlotte, North Carolina. As a young woman, Anastasia spent a few years working at the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company before embarking on what would be over thirty years of dedicated service to the federal government. She worked in human resources management and specialized in position classification, position management and management advisory services. Anastasia began her government tenure with the Food and Drug Administration as a Position Classification Specialist in the mid 1960’s. Following work at the FDA, Anastasia moved on to the Office of Education/Health, Education and Welfare (now the Department of Education) where for over a decade she held several positions including Director of Classification Surveys and Personnel Management Specialist. Her next career move spanned two decades of work at the Corporation for National Services and ACTION (now AmeriCorps), where she retired after working in several branch chief capacities. After officially retiring from government work in 1996, Anastasia started her own human resources consulting business, KLJ Associates, named after Kevin and Leslie. Anastasia always loved being involved in causes and organizations that mattered to her. She threw herself into volunteering with a variety groups and institutions that were close to her heart, covering her many civic and artistic bases. Among them was Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, where she volunteered as a docent for two decades. The museum honored her with an award for Outstanding Volunteerism at its 45th Anniversary Gala in 2012. Anastasia still holds the status as the longest-serving docent. Anastasia was an active member of the Prince George’s County Board of Appeals for ten years. As with everything she invested her time in, she took this role very seriously. For Anastasia, it was always “Prince George’s County,” and never, ever “P.G. County.” Rest assured that she would quickly correct you if you did not follow suit. Anastasia was the Legislative Committee Chairperson for the Prince George’s County Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). As chairperson, she always kept the organization informed about politics and legislation affecting women and families, and encouraged everyone to vote. She served the organization for twenty-five years with twelve years in leadership. Anastasia was also active as an usher with Arena Stage, one of her favorite theater homes, for over a decade. Arena Stage remembers her as a classy, kind and terrific presence at performances, one who was always courteous to patrons and staff. The theater misses her dearly. Additionally, Anastasia was a member of the Kennedy Center; charter member of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture; usher for Round House Theatre; president of the United Ostomy Association of Metropolitan - Washington, D.C. Chapter and president of the Hillcrest Towne Homeowner’s Association. Leadership and service were in her DNA. Anastasia enjoyed books, especially about African-American literature and history and about White House culture. She had a special appreciation for poetry and loved Motown music, home improvement television, museum visits, trips to the casino with her siblings. Of the arts, the theater was Anastasia’s greatest passion. Her favorite playwright was August Wilson. She regularly attended the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She began exposing her children to Broadway plays when they were young. In 2022, they returned the sentiment for what would be her final Broadway excursion, by gifting her with tickets to see “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” Anastasia also enjoyed politics, and would spend hours watching local and national news. The “news junkie” in her would permeate deeply into her journalist son. A world traveler, Anastasia vacationed in beautiful locales, seeing sights throughout Africa (Senegal, Gambia), Europe (Italy, Spain, England), and the Caribbean including Puerto Rico. The Lord truly blessed Anastasia with a full, rich and long life. While she was admittedly quiet about her faith, she was confident that Jesus was her savior, God was her anchor and that heaven would be her home. Anastasia was predeceased by her parents, her favorite aunt Victorine Sullivan, and nephews, Julius Grant and Jamal Jones. Left behind to forever bask in loving memories of Anastasia are son, Kevin Johnson; daughter, Leslie Bond (Dwayne); grandchildren, Jarami Bond, Imani Bond and Kamin Bond; siblings, Theresa Govan and William Thomas Jr.; nieces, Deidre Randol (Jay), Eboni Govan-Grant, and Lovely Taylor; nephews, William Thomas III (Lynn), Anthony Thomas, Trent Randol and Grant Randol; former husband, Francis Johnson and a host of cousins and other family members, friends, neighbors, associates and more. “And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” – Maya Angelou Relatives and friends are invited to Ms. Johnson's Life Celebration on Thursday, February 1, 2024, with viewing from 10 a.m. until the start of the funeral service at 11 a.m. at Woodstream Church, 9800 Lottsford Rd., Bowie, MD 20721. Interment to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1300 Bladensburg Rd., Washington, DC 20002. Memorial contributions may be made to Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum. The family kindly requests that any flowers ordered be sent to the church. Please leave a condolence for the family by visiting the Memories link on this page. The family welcomes your prayers during this difficult season.