Mary Powell Johnson | Sept. 23, 1927 — Nov. 4, 2022

Mary Powell Johnson | Sept. 23, 1927 — Nov. 4, 2022

Mary Powell Johnson

Long-time ATCA member with Alumni member status in recent years, Mary Powell (Manke) Johnson passed away at age 95 on Friday November 4, 2022 at Heartlands Assisted Living of Severna Park. Mary was born on September 23, 1927, in Baltimore Maryland and was a resident of Severna Park, Maryland for over 40 years.

Mary graduated from Western High School in 1945, and after a fifteen year gap she attended Johns Hopkins University Evening College for six years, studying Russian language and literature, and majoring in Social Sciences. She married the late Maurice P. Johnson (Bud) in 1955, whom she met while working at WAAM TV (later WJZ). The couple lived, worked, and traveled together for more than 60 years.

Mary served for six years as associate director of John Hopkins University’s Centennial Planning and Programs, and during 1975-76 she helped plan and execute 57 symposia plus a celebratory concert, ball, family reunion of Hopkins collateral descendants, and convocation ceremonies.

Bud and Mary Johnson in 2017, photo provided by Joy Johnson-Gomez.

A lifelong fan and supporter of performing and creative arts, Mary was hired as a freelance arts writer by the Baltimore Sun (Arundel Section) after she wrote a letter to the editor about an Annapolis Opera performance in November 1996. Over the next 20 years more than 1,000 of her articles on local theater, dance, opera, classical and jazz music performances, and local artists represented by Annapolis galleries were published and most illustrated with photos taken by her husband Bud. Mary was honored with the 2019 Annie Award for Arts Patron from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.

Mary was a long-time member of the American University Women, American Theatre Critics Association, and of JAWS, a society of professional women journalists. In 2001 she was selected for Who’s Who of American Women and later to Who’s Who in America. She lived life with a passion, and the many people that she touched knew their importance to her and can share a smile in her memory. Mary is survived by her daughter Joy Johnson-Gomez, son-in-law Michael Gomez, her granddaughter Marie Fredrikis, and her grandson-in-law Kyle Fredrikis.

— Published by The Capital Gazette on Nov. 14, 2022, republished on, and lightly edited by Martha Wade Steketee.

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