Johnnie Grant Street, age 88 of Forest City passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
A lifelong educator, she was well-known in our small town. She was born in Henrietta, North Carolina and was a daughter of the late Johnnie “Red” Grant and Inez McSwain Grant. Johnnie was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Street in 2013. She was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Forest City.
After beginning nursing school and realizing it was not the career for her, Johnnie Street’s father introduced her to a teacher who had impacted his life. That meeting led Johnnie to enroll at Lees-McRae College and later to graduate from East Tennessee State with an Early Education degree. In 1956, she began her teaching career and worked in several North Carolina districts before returning to Rutherford County to teach at Spindale Elementary School. She transferred to Forest City Elementary School, where she and a colleague embraced the open classroom concept and launched a K-2 classroom promoting learning centers and hands-on activities. She introduced and promoted kindergarten graduation, and she was recognized as the Forest City Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1980.
After retirement in 1988 with 30 years of service, she served as a McNair mentor and Hospice volunteer. She partnered with the McNair Foundation and Lees-McRae College to provided matching scholarships for ROPE award winners, established the Street Scholarship enabling a Rutherford County student to attend Lees-McRae College, and was instrumental in creating numerous other scholarships. Johnnie and her husband were awarded the Lees-McRae College Distinguished Alumni award in 2011.
She is survived by her sons, Bob Street of Nebo, Fred Street and wife Suzanne of Southport, four granddaughters, Lindsey Street of Raleigh, Katie Mansour and husband Matt of Palm Harbor, Sally Melton and husband Nic of Forest City and Emily Senay and husband Tarran of Pittsburgh, along with four great-grandchildren, Camden, Harper, Malek and Mackenzie.
A private service will be held in the Columbarium at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
Memorials may be made to the Johnnie and Fred Street Scholarship Fund at Lees-McRae College, Post Office Box 128, Banner Elk, North Carolina 28604-0128 or the Robert & Janice McNair Educational Foundation, 1603 Chase High Road, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Johnnie Grant Street, please visit our floral store.