|Birth: ||Apr. 15, 1933|
|Death: ||Aug. 17, 2008|
Heaven didn't send her problems. Heaven sent her adventures.
Aliese Marguerite Josephine Collins was the daughter of Amiel Randolph Collins and Sophia Elizabeth Lillian Markham. She always gave me the impression of her growing up was just a normal type of life. In high school her plans were to go to college, get a degree in Journalism and eventually work for a newspaper. And while she planned, God must have laughed.
Aliese had an uncle, Sgt. Emerson Collins, who was in the Army and stationed in Tokyo. She wrote weekly letters to him to let him know his family loved and missed him. In one of his letters, he asked if Aliese could write cheery letters to a young man named Charles Winford Johnson.
So, Aliese began writing to Corporal Johnson. They wrote about their families and how they envisioned their futures. They corresponded for almost two years and then Charles wrote and said he was being sent home on leave and could he come to visit Aliese and her family. Aliese wanted to meet this young man she called "Zip" but never had any idea of romance.
She went to the bus station to meet him late one cold January afternoon in 1952. There came a very tall, blonde, handsome soldier to meet her. His voice was very soft, he spoke with a real southern accent and he was so polite. He held doors, took her arm to cross streets and was absolutely charming. He set Aliese's heart to fluttering and thumping. When it came time for him to leave, he kissed Aliese goodbye - and she was definitely in love.
On March 15, 1952, Zip was back. This time he was wearing a suit - complete with a little box in the pocket containing an engagement ring. When he asked her to marry him - this wonderful man she loved so much, she of course replied. "You will have to ask my father!"
Permission was given and Aliese and Zip were married on September 5th, 1952. Their life would be filled with many adventures that began almost immediately. While traveling, they stopped to spend the night in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Zip went in and registered, signing in as Charles Johnson because he wasn't yet used to the Mr. and Mrs. thing. The next morning the desk clerk said, "Mr. Johnson, if that lady spent the night with you, that will be an additional $2.50." Zip paid it without a word. Aliese was upset thinking the clerk thought she was a paid woman. Zip said they didn't care what he thought and they had an adventure to tell their children later.
And so began their life of adventure. It lasted forty-two years and seven months before Aliese was left to walk on alone. Their loving home was sweetened with four children who grew up much loved and blessed by their parents. Aliese was a wonderful grandmother to her Grands.
She loved to scrapbook and make cards. She called her technique "Fuss and Fret" but her handiwork was beautiful. She made heritage albums so her "Grands" would know their ancestors and their history but I remember how happy she was to get past the stern and serious era when no one smiled in the photographs.
Aliese battled cancer twice. She beat it once. When she learned the cancer had come back, this time in her lungs and there was nothing that could be done but prepare for the end, I wrote her a letter listing some of the things I love about her.
Here is the list to Aliese:
I love your wit and sense of humor.
I love that you have a way of looking at things that put them in perspective.
I love that you are not afraid to laugh at yourself.
I love that you were such an easy friend to make.
I love that you speak your mind and you do it with tact and diplomacy.
I love knowing that you will be a happy memory that I can carry for many years.
Oh, how I miss her.
For those of you who visit this page who also loved Aliese, please leave a flower for her and tell her some of the reasons why you loved her.
If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. "Cheers", my friend.
Charles Winford Johnson (1929 - 1995)
Saint John Cemetery
Created by: scrap
Record added: Aug 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28793450
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Added: Jul. 21, 2014
Added: Jul. 13, 2014
What a lovely, lovely lady, and what a wonderful memory you've left for your family.|
Added: Jun. 30, 2014
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