MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — With an honor guard standing watch over the funeral chapel, family, friends, and colleagues gathered in Martinsburg this week to remember Martinsburg Mayor Harriet Johnson, who passed away last week at the age of 71.
A common thread was how much she loved her city, how she could be seen cheerleading for her hometown and at ribbon cuttings and events. She was frequently seen taking pictures.
Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle Executive Director Stacy Rohn remembers Mayor Johnson showing up:
“Quietly, she and (the mayor’s husband) Tom would always get snacks for our kids in our summer program. We would provide breakfast and lunch, but we were starting to notice that our kids were really tired at the end of a long day and needed a little snack. And she would just appear with snacks for the kids. If it was something she knew I needed in the community, she was great about connecting us with … some of the businesses downtown that could help us,” Rohn said.
Superintendent of the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission Rev. Tim Guerino said when he first took on the post at the downtown mission, he had heard Martinsburg had its challenges.
“She flipped the script,” Guerino said during the funeral Thursday. “She put others first. It was about putting others first in the city that she loved,”
The work to find someone to fill the remainder of the mayor’s term continues. Interested candidates have until Friday to put their names in for consideration.
On Wednesday, City Council will discuss and appoint an individual to fulfill the unexpired three (3) year mayoral term at 6:30 p.m.