Marsha Johnson was born & raised in Hancock County. She grew up on a farm in Utility – a small community where everyone helped each other. They attended Union Baptist Church, which was a one-room church at the time. She and her siblings helped with raising tobacco and gardening and visited often with family, friends and neighbors.
For ten years she has served on the Lewisport Heritage Festival Committee and is the organizer of the beauty pageants. She has been a Lewisport City Council member since 2017 and is up for re-election on November 8, running for her fourth term.
She’s been a Lion’s Club Member for 6 years and on the Lewisport Christmas in the Park Committee since its start. “It’s a great night for family and the kids,” Marsha said. “We have a lot of activities and food, Mr. & Miss Claus, the tree lighting and free hot chocolate. It’s a great event. Just looking at it while it’s going on, it reminds you of a Hallmark movie.”
In 1971, she graduated from Hancock County High School and attended Owensboro Business College for one year. She worked for the Clarion for one year typesetting and then worked as an assistant to Dortha Boling in the Occupational Tax Office, in the old Courthouse in Hawesville for 7 years.
She worked in the office and was Instructional Assistant at HCHS for a number of years and was a Collections Clerk at Lewisport City Hall for over 5 years.
“I knew that I wanted to have my future in working with the public,” she said. “I have always enjoyed being closely involved with the public and helping people. The majority of my career has been working in Hancock County and helping the people here.”
One of her favorite games to play growing up was “Annie Over” – 2 or 3 would stand on one side of the house and 2 or 3 on the opposite side. They would throw the ball over the roof and whoever caught the ball would run around and try and tag them before they could get to the other side. They also enjoyed riding their bikes and catching fire flies on summer evenings, she said.
She and her siblings didn’t watch much TV, however they looked forward to Saturday morning cartoons. She said she tried to get up extra early and catch Tarzan before the cartoons would start.
Her parents are the late William DeJarnette and Violet Beek DeJarnette Smothers. Her 3 siblings are: the late Robin DeJarnette, Jenine Posy and Tim DeJarnette.
“I always looked up to my father,” she said. “He taught me to work hard and only say something good about a person. It’s hard to do sometimes, but I do try.”
She and her family & friends enjoy the big Hwy 60 Yard Sale and also have bonfires a couple of times a year by the river in Lewisport, on her brother’s property.
Marsha is blessed with one adult daughter. Jamie Howard lives in Lewisport and has worked in the Hancock County School system as a Kindergarten Aid and now substitutes.
She is also blessed with 2 granddaughters: Jayda & Jaycie Garrison. Jayda attends Spalding University and will graduate January of 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Natural Science and August 2024 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing. Jaycie is a Senior at HCHS.
Both were very active in basketball and softball and Marsha has been closely involved in their many sports events, as well as their beauty pageants over the years.
She has tried to focus on spending plenty of quality time with her grandchildren as a priority. “I didn’t really know my grandparents,” she said. “That is one thing I’ve tried to focus on is spending as much time with my grandchildren as I can.”
She has traveled to Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, and hopes to travel to New York City and Washington, D.C. one day.
One of the Bible verses that has guided her life is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
“I’m thankful that He has helped guide me the way He has,” she said. “I’ve been very blessed my whole life.”
By Jennifer Wimmer