Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Louise Johnson (Peaks)

October 17, 1941 - May 18, 2020
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Reflections of a Life Well Lived

In the autumn season of 1941, Dorothy Louise Peaks Johnson was born on October 17th in Durham, NC to Hattie Shaw Peaks and Theodore Roosevelt Peaks. She was the 11th child born into a large, loving family that would total 12 offspring (nine daughters and three sons). “Dot,” as she was affectionately called, was educated in the Durham County Public Schools and graduated from Merrick-Moore High School in 1959. In high school, Dot and several of her sisters were star players on the Girls Basketball Team at Merrick-Moore.

Dot fulfilled many roles in her life. She was a devoted wife and loving mother, caring grandmother and godmother, faithful sister and kind aunt, and compassionate friend and thoughtful neighbor. She shared many years of her life with her best friend and soulmate Donald “Wilbert” Johnson, Sr. Their everlasting love story began in the early 1960s and they were married on September 28, 1963. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary (50 years) in September 2013 and their union lasted until Wilbert passed in 2017.

To their union, three children were born: daughter Leslie and two sons Donald Wilbert, Jr, and Leon. Dot and Wilbert were the head of a close-knit nuclear family. They shared much family time with their adult offspring and their spouses and grandchildren. The family worshipped together at Cameron Grove Baptist Church and they regularly had Sunday dinners together. She loved her church family and they were prominent in her life. She served in many different capacities, Deaconess, Advisor of Children’s Choir and Youth Missionary Circle, and was a former member of the JET Echoes. The Johnson Family enjoyed the pleasure of each other’s company. They traveled together and made many vacation memories.

After a long and rewarding career, Dot retired from Duke Hospital after 34 years of service. She worked in the Radiation Oncology Department as an Accounting Clerk. She was destined to pursue a career in healthcare; shortly after graduating from high school, she attended nursing school and later switched career paths, but remaining in the hospital setting. During her retirement years, Dot enjoyed her favorite past-times; shopping, traveling and spending time with family. She especially delighted in making frequent visits to New Jersey, where she visited the families of her nieces Vivian (John) Hanson and Carolyn Hicks-Tyson.

Dot transitioned from earth to her heavenly home on May 18 after a short battle with COVID-19. She was pre-deceased by nine of her siblings: Clora Bell Amos, Luna Mae Peaks Hicks (Donnell, Sr.) Waddell Peaks, Alyce Peaks Little, Lucille Peaks Turner (Jasper), Gertrude Peaks Burnett, Hattie Peaks Mebane, Joe Louis Peaks (Lucille) and Patricia Ann Peaks Jones (George) as well as her loving and supportive father and mother in-law, Thaddeus and Alma Johnson. Her surviving siblings include one sister Barbara Peaks Berry and one brother James C. Peaks, Sr. (Virginia).

The Johnson and Peaks families cherish the memory of our beloved Dorothy. Her legacy will be upheld by her daughter Leslie, sons Donald Wilbert, Jr. (Dawn) and Leon (Monica); granddaughters Brittany (Devon), Brianna, Paige, Jocelyn and Deidra; great grandson Roman; sisters-in law Shirley Satterfield, Jean Arrington, Vivian Johnson, Christine Florence, Artelia Wade (Matthew) and Gayle Bridges (Darrell); brothers-in law Samuel Burnett, Marshall Johnson (Joyce), James (Patricia) and Coston (Merion); aunt Bertha Hart; Godson Rev. Tyrone Alson (Janice); Goddaughters JaKita Turrentine, Toina Coley, Tiffany Little (Fernando) and Janice Curington (Len); and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

You may view her funeral service live by going to the Photos/Videos section at the top of this page.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday May 21, 2020 | 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Thursday May 21, 2020 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Ellis D Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel
    419 Dowd St
    Durham, NC 27701
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Please remember to practice the guidelines of social distancing by maintaining a distance of six feet apart. Only five people will be allowed into the funeral home at time. Mask or Face Coverings are required by the City of Durham. Please remember to sanitize your hands upon entrance and exit of the funeral home. Although the Governor has implemented Phase One of reopening the state, it is imperative that we continue to follow these important guidelines. We appreciate all of your patience as we work through this together.
  • Celebration of Life

    Ellis D Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel
    419 Dowd St
    Durham, NC 27701
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Mrs. Johnson will have a private funeral service. We encourage you to join us via live stream for the Celebration of her life. The link to her service is located in the Photos/Videos Link at the top of this page.


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Dorothy here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Private Condolence
Tara Russ Taniyah and Tashauna Justice, Jill Watkins and Family, and other have sent flowers to the family of Dorothy Louise Johnson (Peaks).
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Marilyn Wombke

Posted at 08:11pm
Praying for the family especially during this difficult time.
Marilyn Womble

Tara Russ Taniyah and Tashauna Justice

Posted at 08:50am
With Love and sadness but knowing you are with God and at rest, we will miss you but know god knows Best. .........Love Always Tara and the Girls
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Tara Russ Taniyah and Tashauna Justice purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Dorothy Johnson. Send Flowers


Linward & Anne Hedgspeth

Posted at 07:32pm
My condolences to the entire family. I am so sorry for our loss. Praying for each of you!

Love forever and always, Carolyn

Posted at 05:39pm
On Angel's wings you were taken away, but in my heart you will always stay.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Dorothy Johnson — Plant a Tree Now

From your sister and brother, John and Vivian

Posted at 05:31pm
Those we love don't go away, they walk with us everyday. Unseen, unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Dorothy Johnson — Plant a Tree Now

Photos & Videos

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