Carolyn (CJ) Johnson

 Carolyn (CJ) Johnson

Date of Death - January 8, 2021

The town of Taos has lost a beloved member of our community. On Friday, January 8th, 2021, Carolyn (CJ) Johnson died at home in Ranchos de Taos after a brief, but intense battle with cancer. She was 75 years old. CJ is survived by her beloved life partner, Ethel Chapel, with whom she found great happiness in her last few years of life. She also leaves behind two sisters and three nephews in California. CJ moved to Taos almost 2 decades ago bringing her computer skills and her artistry with her. Having retired at age 55 from a career in information technology at both Pacific Bell/AT&T and Charles Schwab in San Francisco, CA, CJ threw herself into multiple volunteer endeavors in Taos and greater New Mexico. CJ is remembered fondly by the Millicent Rogers Museum where she offered free computer assistance along with her brilliant smile. She was a dedicated volunteer for the Taos Archeological Society and the Archeological Society of New Mexico. She served both organizations as an elected officer. Her work included serving as a Site Watcher at the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project. She is remembered by the Taos Archeological Society for “her brilliance, multiple talents and spirit of service.” She is remembered with great love by the members and friends of Taos United Community Church which she attended and where she volunteered her computer skills. CJ was a donor and “close friend” of the Taos Community Foundation. In California, CJ served as a volunteer as well as a board member for the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Berkley and donated much of her beautiful pottery for its fundraising. CJ was a remarkable artist who worked in multiple mediums from pottery to jewelry and sculpture. Her latest passion was making art of whimsy and beauty from the components of old computers and cell phones which she named her “Electronic Rock Art.” CJ’s brilliant smile and laugh are well known in the circles in which she traveled. Anyone who knew her experienced her kindness and generous nature. She believed that if you cannot be kind and say something nice, you should not say anything at all. She did make sure you knew that she was a 75 y.o. “computer geek and proud of it.” There will be a Zoom Service of Remembrance with Taos United Community Church on Tuesday, January 19th at 10am. Please join us at: or phone:+1 699 900 9128 US When gathering is possible and it is warmer weather, a large, outdoor Celebration of her Life will be held in the garden she and Ethel designed and created together. Donations may be made to either the Taos Community Foundation at their website: or to the Taos Archeological Society at: Arrangements by Rivera Family Funeral Home, Taos.  To share a memory, please visit our website at

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Janice Crouse

I first met CJ on a hike with a group of women and our dogs up Divisidaro trail on a beautiful Taos summer morning many years ago. We socialized at parties, a few at her house in Upper Las Colonias and I always found her to be so warm, open, inquisitive, accepting, and with a positive outlook towards life. AND, always with a smile on her face! It was with deep sadness I learned from a mutual friend of her death. She will be remembered and missed by many people in the Taos community.

My sympathy to her family and especially to Edith. Janice Crouse

Hilary Stewart

Though I did not know CJ that well, I considered her a friend. She was a kind person and a lover of life. Her great spirit was an inspiration.

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