Gladys Mae Johnson “Cookie Lady” 91 passed peacefully on Monday, February 3, 2020. Loving wife of the late George Johnson, loving mother of a son and daughter, dear grandmother of 6, great-grandmother of 17. Adopted mother of numerous women and men of the Jefferson County Police Department.
She had many friends and neighbors and was a friend to many of the residents and staff of Delmar Gardens Meramec Nursing Home.
She had a passion for cooking and needlepoint. Every year she would have her grandkids, one at a time come over and help her make cookies for all of her friends, neighbors and police officers.
Gladys Johnson had a special bond for over 20 years with the Jefferson County Sheriff deputies, she essentially adopted the deputies as her children for decades.
On February 7, 2019 Sheriff Dave Marshak and Capt. Gary Higginbotham showed Gladys how much officers appreciated her efforts with presenting her with a certificate. This certificate was thanking her for the countless meals, Christmas cards, holiday dinners and gifts she bestowed to the deputies. She opened her home and provided meals to deputies while they worked on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and oftentimes, just because.
Johnson said her connection to the Sheriff’s Office started when she and her late husband, George Edward Johnson got a scanner in 1974. Gladys and her late husband would listen to the scanner because they lived near the dangerous Highway 21. The Highway Patrol left flares with Gladys and her family, because they would offer assistance to officers working accidents on the highway. Because they were right there and saw the accidents happen.
Gladys became so adept at listening to the scanner; she could identify the deputies by their radio call number. “She would know which deptuties were working by their numbers,” Marshak said. “When we would hire a new deputy, she would call and say, “Who is 114 now?” after a while, she would invite you over for a meal.”
Because of the strong connection with the deputies, when the Sheriff’s Office switched to a new radio system that her scanner wouldn’t pick up, Marshak said they all chipped in to buy a new radio so she could still listen to their calls. And she is the only person they have ever done that for.
She returned the radio back after moving into the retirement community. When Gladys was unable to cook the holiday meals for the deputies, that didn’t mean the Sheriff’s Office went without a feast. When she was unable her son did the whole meal. Gladys had one rule to be broken when the deputies visited the home. She would insist that they would remove their hats so she could take a picture for them for her collection, which she displayed in her hallway.
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