Carnations 4

Cecelia Johnson

March 1, 1932 ~ December 12, 2021 (age 89)


Cecelia Antonia Johnson (Ciamarra),of Shippenville (Marianne Estates), PA  died Sunday, December 12, 2021 at UPMC Seneca following an illness.

Born on March 1, 1932 in Tuckahoe, New York, she was daughter of the late Dominic and  Teresa Ciamarra.

She was an only child of Italian immigrants who went on to earn a PhD in English Literature and the Phi Beta Kappa Award from the prestigious Hunter College.

Dr. Johnson began her teaching career at Columbia University and later  teaching at Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York.

She was loved by her students. She demonstrated her legendary teaching methods on a series of public television programs.  However, given the choice  between being a teacher or a movie star was simple for Ceil;  she stopped the TV presentations to spend more time with her students.

Ceil was a compassionate teacher often using her own resources to provide shelter and food to a pregnant student so that they could graduate and her free time to help a stumbling student.

She would break the rules when she felt it was needed often having weekly in-class pizza parties to celebrate a successful week of learning.

 In the end, all her students graduated passing ridged New York regency exams to become productive members of society.

Ceil leaves a number of distant but loved relatives too many to list, her loving husband, Everett of 25 years, and her adopted grandson, Justin Casey.

 She also leaves her best friend and carpool mate, April Margolin along with their daily political debates,  Larry Gambella her loving Italian-speaking supervisor, and Bob D’elia a fellow teacher, dear friend and advisor.

Ceil created friends where ever she went.  Strangers in Wal-Mart often felt the need to stop and talk to “the petite woman with her infamous large hair bow.”

Ceil loved dogs as much as they loved her. She leaves behind a small aging rescue poodle, Jeremiah, who now sleeps in her spot, waiting for her to come home.

Mass of Christian Burial for Ceil will be celebrated at 11 AM Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion with Rev. Monty Sayers, presiding. 

Interment will follow in the families private mausoleum in Cedarview Cemetery, Clarion County.

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