Phyllis Marian Skinner Johnson, 95

November 28, 2019

Phyllis Marian Skinner Johnson, 95, passed away on November 25, 2019. A Calvert County native, Phyllis was born on March 21, 1924 in Port Republic. Phyllis graduated from Calvert County High School in 1941 at the age of 17. She received a Maryland State Senatorial Scholarship and attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 1944 with a BA degree in English and a Biological Science Minor. She started teaching English at Bladensburg High School, in Prince George’s County in the Fall of 1944. She married a fellow teacher, Albert Johnson in 1953 and they lived in Prince George’s County. A daughter, Allyson Jaye, was born in 1957 and a son, Philip Skinner was born in 1960.

Phyllis received her MA Degree in Secondary School Counseling in 1966 from The George Washington University. She was a school counselor in a number of Prince George’s County high schools for almost twenty years, and she retired from Parkdale High School in 1979. When she retired, she returned to Calvert County to resume some of the farming activities that she had grown to enjoy and respect as a child. She enjoyed raising a large vegetable garden, cutting many acres of grass on her riding lawnmowers, tending to 20 head of beef cattle, growing crops (corn and hay) and spending time with family. At the age of 80, Phyllis wrote and published her first book, Calvert’s Gold. She continued writing and published three more books.

Phyllis has always been an advocate for the environment. She loved Calvert County and through the years, she tried to call attention to and prevent the abuse of good farmland by utilities, some state agencies, and developers. In the 1970’s, she co-chaired The Concerned Citizens Association of Mutual that fought utilities and preserved farmland. Her efforts continued through her retired years with writing many letters to the editors of various newspapers, gathering signatures on petitions, writing letters to agencies and public officials, speaking at public forums and organizing citizen groups.

Phyllis is survived by her children Allyson Sigler and Philip Johnson, her grandchildren, Jessica Sigler Berens and John Muelbe Sigler, and her great granddaughter, Isla James Berens. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews that she helped through the years and loved dearly. Phyllis was preceded in death by her siblings, Mildred Dorsey Maguire, Doris Elizabeth McCool, Robert Edward Skinner, Charles William Skinner and her parents Jessie Marian Dorsey Skinner and Charles Wesley Skinner. Much love and gratitude is sent to The Hermitage, assisted living in Dowell, Maryland where Phyllis lived for the last two and a half years of her life.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorial contributions be made to Christ Church, Port Republic.