B. Marlene Johnson | News, Sports, Jobs


B. Marlene Johnson

STEAMBURG — B. Marlène “JaGohNyah” Johnson, 86, of West Perimeter Road, Steamburg, died at 11:30 p.m., Saturday August 27, 2022, at Absolut Care of Allegany.

Marlene was born on April 19, 1936 in Buffalo, the daughter of the late Georgianna Bennett. She was a 1954 graduate of Fredonia High School, earned her associate’s degree from Alfred State College in 1956, and her bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in counseling from St. Bonaventure University.

She was an enrolled member of the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Nation of Indians. She retired from Saint-Bonaventure University, where she was director of the Higher Education Opportunity (HEOP) program. After retiring from Bona’s, she worked as a guidance counselor at Randolph Union Free Academy. She was also the proud homemaker of her five daughters.

Ms. Johnson was well known in the Seneca Nation community for her life’s work enriching the culture and advancing their efforts, locally and nationally. Marlene was instrumental in creating the Seneca Nation newsletter, served as an elected Seneca Nation councilor, served on the Salamanca Leases Committee, and testified before the United States Congress on behalf of the committee. , won a grant to build the Steamburg Community Center, served on the Seneca Nation Library Trustee Board, became the Tribal Advocate following the Kinzua Dam Project, was appointed Delegate to the first White House conference on Indian education, founded the Native American Indian Association of New York in 1992 and was appointed by the new Governor of York to the board of trustees of the former Gowanda Psychiatric Center in Perrysburg , NY.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Gordon C. Johnson, Jr. of Steamburg, whom she married June 16, 1956, in Fredonia; four daughters, Teri Marlene (Del) Pelletier of Steamburg, Lori Virginia (Don) Quigley of Grand Island, Juli Anna Johnson of Ocala, FL, and Tami Jayne (Tim) Portale of Gold Canyon, AZ; 9 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her daughter, Mari Elizabeth (Pat) Hickey on November 27, 2021 in Ireland.

Per Marlene’s wishes, tours will not be observed. A funeral service for her and Mari will be held at 11.30am, Sunday, September 4, 2022, at Hillside Haven Cemetery, Bunker Hill Road, Steamburg. Donald White will officiate

Arrangements are in the care of Van Rensselaer & Son Funeral Home, 14 Church Street, Randolph. To leave condolences to the family, log on to: www.vanrensselaerandson salon funéraire.com

Papers may be left in his memory at the NYS American Indian Educational Association Scholarship (www.naiea.org).


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