Lorraine Vera Johnson (Kirby) of Millsboro, Delaware was born July 1, 1931, in Trenton, New Jersey. James and Sarah Kirby adopted her at a young age. She grew up in the city of Camden, New Jersey and subsequently Lawnside, New Jersey. Lorraine, also affectionately known as Vera, met and married Calvin R. Farmer, Sr (deceased). They had nine children.
Lorraine was taught to sew and cook at a young age by her mother, Sarah. She held numerous jobs outside the home to provide for her growing family. These jobs included sewing for various people and organizations and cooking at the Lawnside Elementary School.
Lorraine was involved in her community and church. She had a beautiful voice and sang soprano at the Mt Pisgah AME Church in Lawnside. She also loved playing piano for various choirs. She was a member of the Lawnside Democrat Club. An accomplishment not to be taken lightly was helping to organize the Lawnside Volunteer Ambulance Squad. Lorraine served the community day and night answering emergency and distress calls.
Following the death of her mother Sarah and husband Calvin R. Farmer, Sr, she relocated to Millsboro to care for her father, James Kirby. Subsequently, she met and married Eldridge R. Johnson. Lorraine worked at the Candlelight Bridal Shop and received numerous accolades for her wedding dress designs. With good business sense, she opened up the first black owned sewing shop named Sew-N-Sew in the middle of the town of Millsboro.
Lorraine and Eldridge (Scoop) had a passion to minister to the underserved prison community. They wanted to start a ministry for the prison work release program. It had been discussed but did not come to fruition until Lorraine decided to speak to the warden. The program started out in a trailer but with tenacity, she was able to secure funding to build a permanent worship center that is still operational today. Lorraine was ordained by the World Christianship Ministries and Rev. Ron Houston Ministry Inc. She served 25 years as the first black female chaplain at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Delaware. Lorraine was a faithful viewer and contributor to Joyce Meyers' Angel Tree ministries, who made a visit to Delaware to perform a special service at the Georgetown prison with Lorraine's Love Ministry.
Lorraine was preceded in death by a half-brother, William Johnson. She is survived by four daughters, Mary Johnson of Pennsauken, NJ, Debora Mickles of Port St. Lucie, FL, Mable Harmon of Middletown, DE, Nina Wright (James, Sr.) of Estero, FL; five sons, Calvin Farmer of Barrington, NJ, James Farmer (Pam) of Lincoln, DE, Eric Farmer of Millsboro, DE, Byron Farmer, Sr. of Smyrna, DE, David Farmer, Sr. (Troy) of Bear, DE; one stepson, Dwayne Johnson (Doris) of Millsboro, DE, one goddaughter, Gwen Dixon of Philadelphia, PA, a host of grand & great-grandchildren and friends.
A funeral service will be held at 12:00 PM on Thursday, July 22, 2021, at the Watson Funeral Home, 211 S. Washington St., Millsboro, DE 19966, where friends may call from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for viewing and visitation. Interment will follow at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Brandywine Valley SPCA, 22918 DuPont Blvd, Georgetown, DE 19947 or Mighty Men of Velour, 22723 Church Creek Dr., Lincoln, DE 19960.
Electronic condolences via www.watsonfh.com
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BRANDYWINE VALLEY SPCA
22918 DUPONT BLVD, GEORGETOWN DE 19947
MIGHTY MEN OF VOLOUR
22723 CHURCH CREEK DRIVE, LINCOLN DE 19960