Peaceful 06

Joann I. Johnson

December 26, 1935 ~ September 9, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Joann I. Johnson, 87, of Watertown, NY, passed away peacefully at the Samaritan Medical Center on September 9, 2023.

She was born on December 26, 1935, in the Town of Wilna, daughter of Cressent and Lena Jane (Paige) Russell.

She graduated from West Carthage High School.  She went on to school and became a registered nurse.  Joann began her career as an RN on Camp Drum.  She then became a private duty registered nurse and provided home health care most of her career.

She married Carl Berger Sr., together they had two children, she then married Bernard Zitkoski and together they had three sons, and then Victor Willex Sr. and together they had two daughters before the marriages ended in divorce.  Joann married the love of her life Nolan D. Johnson on June 29, 1974 in Felts Mills.  The couple resided in Watertown where Nolan worked at NY Air Brake for 25 years and retired from Brookside Cemetery after16 years.

Joann enjoyed participating with the North Country Classic Cloggers, knitting, gardening, camping and riding with her husband on his motorcycle.

Among her survivors are her beloved husband of 49 years, Nolan Johnson, of Watertown; two daughters and two sons in law, Patsy (David) Seal, Llano. TX and Susan (Robert)Kidney, Watertown; a step daughter and her husband, Karen (Jeff) Winfrey, Smyrna, TN; her grandchildren, Autumn Kidney, Taylor (Trevor)Price; Devin (Tisha) LeClair, Kimberly (Alex) Hernendez, Heather Fitzwater, Ashley Berger, Crystal (Josh)Malloy, Travis Berger, Ridge Berger, Ben Radtke, Dustin Gilligan and his companion Danielle Pike, Falisha(Dustin) Cristen, Anthony Zitkoski and Dayshia Zitkoski; several great grandchildren; three sisters and a brother-in-law, Nancy (Jerry) Cheal, Bunnell, FL, Virginia Carlisle, Rome, NY and Lisa Horton; and many nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by six children, Carl “Bud” Berger Jr., Terry Gilligan, Michael, Mark and Steven Zitkoski, and Betsy Willex; two grandsons, Andrew Radtke and Danny Berger; a sister, Linda Elsey, three brothers Donald Russell, Cressent Horton, and Kavin Horton.

Calling hours will be held Noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 16th at the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home.  The funeral service will immediately follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.

Burial will be in Sanford Corners Cemetery in Calcium, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made online at the funeral home website to help offset expenses for a monument.  Additionally, the family kindly requests that if anyone wishing to purchase flowers would consider purchasing a mum or plant in her memory.

Online condolences may left at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joann I. Johnson, please visit our floral store.

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September 16, 2023

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Hart & Bruce Funeral Home
117 N. Massey Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Funeral Service
September 16, 2023

2:00 PM
Hart & Bruce Funeral Home
117 N. Massey Street
Watertown, NY 13601


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