Alzia M. JohnsonApril 3, 1933 ~ November 19, 2017 (age 84)
Alzia Mae Johnson (Broom) of Alexandria, VA, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at the age of 84. Alzia is survived by her husband Edward (Ed) Johnson; son Robert (Bob), his wife Kate and their daughters Kerry, Mindy and Amie; daughter Susan, her husband Richard Bruce and their daughter Julia; son Jeff, his wife Lisa and their son Tyler; and son Gary. Alzia and Ed were married for 63 wonderful years.
Alzia was born in Glenville, NC on April 3, 1933 to Brady Broom and Launa Broom (Young). Her father passed away before she was born and her mother and infant sister, Juanita, passed away when Alzia was only 6 years old. Alzia and her older brother, Alvin, were raised by their aunt and uncle, Eva and Ira Broom, along with their own children Clifton, Bernice (Bunny), Wilma and Sherlie. Alzia worked at the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, NC before attending Western Carolina Teachers College, now known as Western Carolina University, where she was recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, DC.
Alzia moved to Washington in 1953 to work for the FBI in the fingerprint division, where she met Edward from Eldred, PA. They were married June 11, 1954, and initially lived in Washington, DC where Bob was born. Through Ed's career with the FBI, they later moved to Woodbridge, VA, followed by Atlanta, GA and then Chicago, IL. Each new home brought a new family member - Susan, Jeff and Gary, respectively. The Johnson family moved back to Northern Virginia in 1969 where Ed and Alzia continued to raise their children, supporting them through high school, college, careers, marriage and grandchildren. Alzia and her family became members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in 1970.
Alzia left the FBI in 1956 to be a full-time mother, raising her children with love and an incredible amount of patience. She eventually missed the energy and comradery of the workplace and returned to the workforce when Jeff and Gary were in high school. Over the next several years, she worked for Alice Chalmers, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Affairs Office in Washington, DC, and the Defense Department at Fort Belvoir, VA.
Alzia loved spending time with family and friends, especially during the holidays, and celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of her grandchildren. She enjoyed studying flower arranging with her friend, Kay Lee, a master in Japanese Ikebana; attending meetings, lunches and outings with her friends as a member of the Society of Former FBI Women; travelling with Ed and their friends to conventions for the Society of Former FBI Agents; building a collection of scrapbooks and family photo albums; browsing in bookstores and collecting and reading books by her favorite authors Ron Rash, David Baldacci, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell; uncovering Broom and Young family history through genealogical and historical searches; and visiting family in her beloved hills of western North Carolina.
Alzia had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel both within the US and internationally. Her first trip abroad was to Kenya and Tanzania on a photo safari with Ed and other family. She and Ed later traveled to several countries in Europe with family or friends including Ireland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Russia. Throughout her travels, Alzia loved the experiences - she rode a helicopter in Hawaii's Waimea Canyon, walked on Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, piloted a US Navy Hydrofoil off the coast of Key West, boated down the Danube River, filmed a herd of wild bison in Custer State Park while standing though the sunroof of a moving car (the "Mom-cam"), was chased by an angry, camera-shy peacock in Italy, and relaxed with a martini in the Olkurruk Lodge bar overlooking Kenya's Masai Mara.
In addition to her parents and sister, Alzia was preceded in death by her aunt and uncle, Ira and Eva Broom; her brother Alvin Broom; "brothers" Clifton and Sherlie Broom; "sisters" Bunny Moore and Wilma Hooper; and her grandson Alexander, Jeff and Lisa's infant son.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a charitable contribution in Alzia's memory, donations may be made to the College of Education Dean’s Fund at Western Carolina University for program and scholarship support for education majors. Checks may be made payable to WCU Foundation with “Alzia Memorial Gift” written on the memo line. Checks may be sent to: WCU Foundation, Suite 201 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723
"You may be gone from my sight…
But you are never gone from my heart."
– A.A. Milne