November 10, 2023, 94, Kinston —
December 16, 1928 – November 10, 2023
Johnnie Elizabeth Bizzelle, 94, completed her earthly journey on Friday, November 10, 2023. Johnnie was born in Wayne County as the tenth of twelve children to the late Lloyd and Bessie Williams Bizzelle. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Virginia Swann, Shirley O’Brien, Carol Bizzelle, Lloyd “Boots” Bizzelle, Harold Bizzelle, Robert Bizzelle, James Bizzelle, Malcolm Bizzell, Norman Bizzelle, and Dorothy Bizzelle.
Graduating as the valedictorian of Moss Hill High School, Johnnie continued her education at Rex Hospital School of Nursing in Raleigh where she again graduated at the top of her class as a registered nurse. She enlisted with the United States Navy Nurse Corps to serve our country and care for others who were serving alongside her. After twenty years of dedicated and honorable service, Johnnie retired from the United States Navy in 1980, having climbed the ranks to Lieutenant Commander.
Retiring to Summerville, South Carolina, Johnnie continued to find ways to serve her fellow man. She became a member of Bethany United Methodist Church and regularly volunteered with the American Red Cross, earning recognition as Volunteer of the Year for her service.
Continuing to offer her skills in nursing and her heart of compassion, she moved back to Lenoir County to care for her brother, Harold, in his final years.
Though Johnnie did not need assisted living at the time, she opted to move to Spring Arbor in Kinston instead of relocating back to South Carolina. There, she found a place of welcome and again began offering herself for the care of others. Staff and residents alike knew that Johnnie was always interested in their wellbeing. If she noticed someone out of sorts, she immediately asked them to sit down and tell her what was going on. Earning the nickname of “mama” for many, she continued to care for others throughout her 12 years at Spring Arbor. Whether talking to friends or family, her usual ending advice was always “be good to yourself”.
A service to honor and celebrate Johnnie’s life will be held by the graveside at Pinelawn Memorial Park at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 13, 2023. The family will receive friends following the service.
Johnnie is survived by her sister, Bess Pocklington; nieces, Debbie Anderson (Jeff) and Angela Kennedy-Wolfe (Kerry); and nephews, Malcolm Kennedy (Kelly) and Shawn Pocklington.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com.
Flowers are welcome, or memorial contributions may be directed in her honor to
American Red Cross
PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839
Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.