Arnethia Elizabeth Johnson was born to the late Arthur and Mary (Smith) Johnson on September 26, 1935. She transitioned from this world at the age of 86 on December 30, 2021.
Arnethia was the second of Mary’s nine children. She could often be seen traveling with her mother to various conferences. At an early age, Arnethia joined the Church of God and Saints of Christ. She served the church fervently for many years.
On October 21, 1951, Arnethia married George L. Broy, Jr. Together they had five children, Darlene, Brenda, Debra, Diana and Gregory. At the beginning of their marriage, the Broys moved to Tacoma, Washington where George was stationed in the Army and Brenda was born. Upon returning to Ohio, Arnethia became very active in Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. She found her calling as a Missionary Board member and working with the youth of the church. Arnethia would often host C.M.E. church members as overnight guests when they traveled to church functions in North East Ohio. Best of all, Arnethia loved to sing for the Lord as a longtime alto in a number of gospel choirs. She remained a member of Bethel until her death.
Arnethia loved her five children. She was active in their schools as a Homeroom Mother and in the Parent Teacher Association. Arnethia’s daughters attribute their spirit of generosity to their mother. They frequently say, “Mom was the most hospitable person. She never met a stranger.” Arnethia was a loving grandmother of twelve. Her range of disciplining transitioned from stern to amicable. Her younger grandchildren often joked that they had the most playful grandma, while the eldest had tales of correction and structure.
As a community activist, Arnethia worked with the NAACP and Canton Urban League, as well as aided in voter registration and worked at the voting polls. Her labor in the community also included helping to raise donations for UNICEF and March of Dimes.
Arnethia’s desire for education was timeless. After completing her secondary education, she pursued a business degree. Raising children and other obligations elongated her timeframe, but she was not deterred from her goal. In her 50s, she reached her mark and was so elated to have earned her degree from Mansfield Business College. She would then pass on the life lesson that it’s never too late to pursue one’s goals.
While in California on business, Arnethia met her second husband Carl Wright. After marrying in Canton, they resided in Oakland, CA for a number of years before returning to Ohio.
Arnethia was preceded in death by her mother, Rev. Mary (Smith) Webb; father, Arthur Johnson; husband, Carl Wright; former husband, George L. Broy Jr.; daughters, Brenda Burch and Debra Broy Johnson; siblings, Naomi Torrence, Joseph Johnson, Raymond Webb and Nathaniel “Paul” Webb; grandson, Lenar Guy; and great-great-grandson, Jeremiah Lee Battle Wilson.
To cherish memories of her, Arnethia leaves her children: Darlene Johnson, Apostle Diana Mabry, and Greg (Rev. Lemia) Broy; siblings, Sharon Ferguson of Columbus, OH, Aaron (Mary) Webb, Duane (Debbie) Guy, and Lt. Col. Rev. James-Michael (Carla) Webb Yates (Retired) of Apple Valley, CA; (11) grandchildren, a multitude of great-grandchildren, a myriad of great-great-grandchildren; special cousins, Elizabeth and Essex Smith, and a host of other relatives and friends.
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