Beloved Mother, Shirley Marie Gorman-Watson, entered into eternal life on July 19, 2019, in Auburn, Indiana surrounded by her children and grandchildren. “Mommy”, “Granny”, “Aunt Marie” and “Baby Sister”, as she was affectionately called was born on July 31, 1931, in Florence, Alabama to the late John and Corneila (Boddie) Johnson. She was baptized at an early age at Good Hope Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama at the age of seven. The Johnson family relocated to Lima, Ohio and then to Fort Wayne, Indiana where they joined Pilgrim Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Reverend John Dixie, Sr. She later joined Jerusalem Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Dr. Samuel Walker, Jr., where several of her children were baptized and became members. “Mommy” attended Fort Wayne Community Schools and later obtained her GED. She was employed by and retired from the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office after an extended illness. After an eight month recovery, she rejoined the workforce and worked part-time at the Al Jennings Center for a short time.“Mommy” was an excellent cook and prided herself in maintaining a very orderly home. She taught her children everything they needed to know about homemaking and even her sons know how to cook and clean like she did. You can say that this particular trait rubbed off, as some of her children are known as being, “OCD”. She is famously known for her “sweet potato pies", “chicken and dressing”, homemade macaroni and cheese”, and “potato salad”. Even her grandchildren would sometimes call and request their “Granny” to cook their favorite meals, such as “ox tail soup”, “white beans and cornbread”, and several others. When cooking, she truly added love into the ingredients which made everything taste so good. “Mommy” had a heart of gold, would help anyone she was able to, and would always be there for her family in their time of need and during a crisis. However, she also told it like it was. She was the best Mother, Grandmother, Sister, and Aunt, that anyone could ask for. She leaves to cherish many years of memories, that expand five generations, nine children, Lee (Lola Bell) Gorman, III, Janis Gorman-Morgan (George deceased), Dennis Freeman, Sr., Judy Gorman, Johnny Tinker, Jr., Scherall Gorman-Tinker, Vicki Gorman, Kimm (Brett) Gorman-Cannon, and Ronald (Robbie) Mayes, Sr., thirty-five grandchildren, eighty-two great grandchildren, and thirty- eight great-great grandchildren. One sister; Mary Magdalene Wilson, and one brother; Edward Charles Johnson, special niece; Lois Johnson, special nephews; Samuel Robinson, Jr., and Jimmie Turner, two special and loving friends for many decades, who spoke with her often before she became ill; Ethel Lee Griffin, and Gassie Mae Green, step-siblings, Pastor Lee Green, Roscoe Green, Pamela Dukes, Louise Green and Lena Green. She is also survived by extended family members; Veda and Chuck Smith, Ugertha Savage, Bradford Smith, Sr., Melvin Smith, Ellen, Darryl, Lucy and David Gorman.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Corneila Johnson, brothers; Mack Johnson and wife Mattie, John T. Johnson, Hula C. Johnson and wife Della, and Frank Johnson, her sisters; Mary Johnson-White and husband Willie, and Ruth Johnson-Robinson and husband Samuel, Sr. her lifelong companion; Clevester Watson, Sr., four grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.
“Mommy’s” life was full and well lived. Throughout several illnesses, she fought hard to remain here on earth with her loved ones and a fighter she was. God had another plan. Her legacy will live on forever in our hearts and she will be missed tremendously.