Rosemary Howard Johnson, our 92-year-old Mother, "Flew Up & Away" to Heaven on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 10:00 am under the loving tears of my sister, Nita Sue King and one of Rosemary's many granddaughters, Sue Ann Segovia. Her passing was due to a surprise manifestation of stage four cancer. Rosemary was three weeks at St. Francis Hospital with excellent care, thanks in part to Keri Gerkin, one of Nita's daughters, who works at the hospital.
Mom's four kids were fortunate enough to spend 18 days and nights alternating all night shifts, laughing, reminiscing, joking and teasing her like children, before Mom did her "self-named Fly Away" into that exciting next life she so savored and sought knowledge of in her days here on earth.
Our mother was a complete spiritual being in every way. She was a true artist, a painter of walls, of chairs, of canvas with watercolors and/or oils or pastels and she was a jewelry designer, a card designer, a doer, a go getter and before her time in all conceivable ways. She was in a word amazing. Our mother was never standing, sitting or lying still in her under five-foot-tall body. She was an Elizabeth Taylor look alike in her youth and was always thought to be too young to be the mother of her four children.
Rosemary was born in Wharton, Texas, on November 3, 1927, where her Mother grew up twisting the necks of chickens to make chicken and dumpling dinners and using an outhouse. Her Mother was Ophelia Cecilia Juanita Lopez Birmingham Dorsey. Her Father was Jack Edward Dorsey. They moved to Houston, Texas and found a home on Cottage Avenue where Jack set up a violin shop and worked as a crane operator. His passion was hand carving Violins at 302 Cottage Avenue. Dorsey's Violin Shop was a half block away from his home. She met Wayne Claybourne on that same street where he lived with his mother and they went to Hogg's middle school together. She married our father at 18, when he was coming out of World War II around 1945. He was a proud Marine. He was 15 when he joined. They were childhood sweethearts, when he went in for his tour. They moved to Tulsa around 1957 and the marriage lasted some 18 years until 1965, when they divorced. Doug was a senior in high school at Memorial, Nita a sophomore, Darcy in 4th grade and Randy in 1st grade.
Rosemary is survived by four children: Randy Claybourne, renowned Bass Fisherman and wife, Robin of Tulsa, Darcy Marlow, semi-retired former Associate Registrar at Philbrook Museum of Art and husband, Bruce of Tulsa, Nita King and husband, Doug, both retired of Tulsa and Doug Claybourne and wife, Laura Napier, Film Producer and Writer/Director respectively along with their daughter 8 year old Marea reside outside Philadelphia.
Rosemary has a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren: Signe Tupper (oldest daughter of Doug) and husband, Gareth in Los Angeles with their daughters, Coraline and Eloise, Dorsey Claybourne (Doug's son in LA), Nita's daughters; Sue Ann Segovia and her daughter, Briani Segovia, Keri Gerkin and great grandkids, Jacob and Katherine and Nita's 3rd daughter, Alyssa McCauley and Randy's daughter, Megan Claybourne (in Dallas). Rosemary loved numerous nieces, nephews and friends too many to mention.
Visitation will be 5-7 PM, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Chapel. Funeral service will be 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Chapel, 3612 E. 91st, Tulsa, OK. Moore's Southlawn 918-663-2233. Share memories at