ViewingG CHOICE FUNERAL CHAPEL, INC.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania 19132
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Veresta Bland Johnson-Hyman was born on October 1, 1932 in Jacksonville, Florida, to Henry Bland and Lula Lucy Bland. She was the oldest of five children, and they stayed close throughout the years. Veresta graduated from Stanton High School in June 1948. From there, she graduated from Edward Waters College and attended Florida A&M University with a major in Science.
Veresta was blessed with nine children, five sons and four daughters, from her union with her first husband Willie Henry Johnson and her second husband Kenneth Hyman, both now deceased. During her marriage to Willie, Veresta and her family moved from Florida to Georgia where she worked as a high school Science teacher in the public school system. They later relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and continued raising their children. Later in life, Veresta met her second husband, Kenneth, who had a warm, loving way with all of her children. Her marriage to Kenneth spanned over 40 years. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother.
Veresta always had a strong interest in science. She worked as a Medical Technologist for many years at Temple University Hospital. Following her work at Temple University Hospital, Veresta decided to return to teaching. She went to Temple University to earn a BS degree with certification in Secondary Education. Shortly after becoming certified, Veresta was appointed to a teaching position with The School District of Philadelphia. She continued her studies at Antioch University to earn a M.Ed degree in Urban Education/Special Education.
Veresta spent the majority of her teaching years as a high school Science teacher at Edison/Fareira High School. She had a strong commitment, love and passion for working with the students, teachers, and administrators at Edison High School. Two of her sons also attended Edison High School. In 2002, Veresta retired from The School District of Philadelphia. However, after only three months, she came out of retirement and returned to Edison High School to teach Health Related Technology with an emphasis in clinical laboratory sciences for about 10 more years. She retired a final time from teaching at the age of 80.
Veresta was a member of many professional organizations. In 2008, she soared to the top as an educator when she became a National Board Certified Teacher. She was also listed in the 1998 5th Edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. In 2009, Veresta was honored by the Phillies Organization as one of their Teacher All-Stars.
One of Veresta’s most valiant efforts was the formation of Hyman Homes Inc., a non-profit 501-C organization, which operated for about 20 years, providing shelter, food, clothing and support services to individuals who suffer with mental illness. This organization came about after one of her sons was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Through her work with her son, Veresta began to see many other individuals suffering with mental illness and was motivated to work with this population of adults. She was very proud of this organization and worked very hard to build and maintain it, along with the support of her husband and oldest daughter, Frances.
Veresta had many hobbies and interests. She enjoyed reading, traveling, playing the lottery, the Phillies, investing in real estate and restoring houses. Gardening was one of her greatest joys. She always maintained a beautiful garden at her home. She loved hats. You rarely would see her out without one. Verestaloved music and playing the piano. She especially enjoyed listening to the music of Mahalia Jackson.
Veresta always maintained strong spiritual beliefs. She brought her children up in Thankful Baptist Church. At a later point in life, she was an active member of a Holiness Church for a few years with a few of her grandchildren. Traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren were truly fun times for her. When her children were younger, Veresta would travel to Florida with her children to visit family. She talked daily with her sister, Gloria, who lives in Florida, starting each morning in prayer. She often spent time in New Jersey visiting with her sister, her brother, and their families. She has also gone to many family reunions.
Veresta had a big heart and provided for everyone in need who crossed her path. She was a foster mother at various times throughout her life, and served as a motherly figure to many of the children in her neighborhood. She inspired all of those whose lives she touched to live to their highest calling. Verestawas truly a phenomenal woman.
Veresta was preceded in death by her first husband, Willie Henry Johnson, two sons, Willie Henry Johnson III and Alpha Omega Johnson, her second husband, Kenneth Hyman, her sister, Patricia Mayhue, and her brother, Henry Bland.
Veresta leaves to cherish her memories her children, Frances D. Johnson, Wannetta A. Johnson (Leon Forde), Willette Jones (George, son-in-law), Melvin Johnson, Lucinda Johnson (A.K. Fahim), Reginald Johnson, and Quinto Hyman, her sister, Gloria Lambert, and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family and friends.
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