Tex Johnson, born Emma Lucille on 30, November 1919 to Rudolph and Mary (Krimmel) Pruss in Denver, CO., passed away Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in The Heritage of Green Hills. The family moved to Texas in her early life, hence her nickname Tex. At the age of 16 Tex won a design contest sponsored by Vogue Magazine and was awarded a scholarship to McDowell Scholl of Costume Design and Fashion Illustration in NYC. She traveled from Johneston via ship to NYC on a one-way ticket, much to her father's chagrin. When the studies were completed, her work for a designer included a Broadway show and worked for Mary Pickford, the actress. Since her Dad did not approve of her living alone in NYC, she moved to Allentown, PA, designing sportswear for a firm there. It was here on a blind date that she met her future husband William (Billy) Johnson and they shared 78 years of marriage. Billy served in WWII during which they lived in Philadelphia and Tex commuted to NYC as a buyer for Lord and Taylor. Many times found her unhappily having to wait on the Dutchess of Windsor. Billy and Tex eventually settled in Reading, PA where they raised their son Kristofor. While Billy began several businesses, Tex became restless until Billy took her to an antique show in DE. This trip sparked the beginning of Tex's long career as an antique dealer. Emma (Tex) Johnson had a stand at Black Angus Antique Mall in the 60's until a fire destroyed the Mall. She then opened her shop in 1972 at 40 Willow St. in Adamstown (Tex Johnson Antiques) which remained open until it was sold in 2020. She continued to do shows with her final one June of this year. Her last working show (she referred to it as her swan song) was at the age of 102. Tex's love for needlework and antique needlework tools led her to her participation in the Berks County Chapter of the Embroider Guild of America. Many trips to England were enjoyed for this study. Also, as a founding member of the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County, she served as an early board member. For many years Tex and three friends enjoyed antiquing trips throughout the Northeast, MD, and VA, as well as attending symposiums in Williamsburg, VA.
Tex is survived by her son Kristofor and his wife Janine, grandsons Will, Jed, and Chad, and seven great-grandchildren, as well as her niece Mary Anna Kavanaugh. She was predeceased by her husband, Billy Johnson, and her sister Margaret Kavanaugh.
The family would like to show sincere appreciation to Ruthie Hollinger who helped to enhance and enrich Tex's life over her last few years.
Visitation with family and friends will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2022 from 11:00 am until 12:30 pm, with services starting at 12:30 pm in Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. 2100 Perkiomen Ave, Reading, PA 19606. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County, PO Box 245, Douglassville, PA 19518. Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.lutzfuneralhome.com.
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