Your Neighbor: Meet Johnnie Hauser

Published 12:07 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Johnnie Hauser turned 99 years old in April.

As she is currently working on her 100th year living in the Winston-Salem area, she reflected on many happy memories.

“I grew up living on S. Green Street during a time when cell phones and technology were not prevalent,” Hauser said. “With an older sister and neighborhood friends, there was always something to entertain us. We’d play outside, go roller skating and always go to church. During the summers, we would take turns going to each other’s Vacation Bible Schools at the various churches. Our family had belonged to a Moravian church.”

Hauser attended West End Elementary on 4th Street and Reynolds High School.

“When I went to Reynolds, I was in the last class that only went through the 11th grade,” Hauser said. “After my grade, they switched it to 12th grade. I really enjoyed my teachers and classmates at Reynolds. I walked every single day to school, whether it was rain or shine.”

Hauser was a hard worker and exceptional student that was driven to attend college.

“I knew that I wanted to go to Salem College to continue my education,” Hauser said.

To help pay for college, Hauser worked in the lunchroom for the then-known R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

“I worked in the five different lunchrooms for about a year to save enough money to attend Salem,” Hauser said.

After completing her time at Salem, Hauser went to work in a toxicology laboratory for the hospital.

“We did all the collections at that time in the chemical lab,” Hauser said.

As Hauser established her career, she met her future husband, Jarvis.

“Although we didn’t know each other, our families had known each other as far back as our grandfathers,” Hauser said. “Jarvis and I had gone to a meeting for college kids regarding the G.I. Bill. He had just returned from serving in the United States Army during World War II. He asked if he could give me a ride home, and we began dating.”

The couple were married for 72 years.

The Hausers quickly realized they had a lot in common. One significant commonality was their desire to have a family. They had three children: Lee, Jane and Ed.

“I realized pretty quickly once Lee was born that staying home to help raise them was important,” Hauser said. “I stopped working in the lab once he was born to take care of him and the rest of the kids when they were little. Keeping up with their activities was definitely a full-time job and one that we enjoyed tremendously, from scouting to camping.”

Another passion both Jarvis and Johnnie shared was their dedication to their church. Hauser had loved music and was asked to be the choir director at the New Philadelphia Moravian Church.

Her daughter, Jane Shore, described it as being like a preacher’s kid.

“We were there for every service,” Shore said. “All of us kids did every choir age group. She really was dedicated and shared her passion with the church community.”

In 2007, a retirement party was held at New Philadelphia Moravian, recognizing Hauser’s service and dedication to their music program.

“They have been our church family, and I can’t even count the many activities we have participated in through the years,” Hauser said. “It holds a very special place in our family’s hearts.”

Although retired from her official role, Hauser still enjoys attending church. She is also relishing her role as a grandmother to six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

“Mom is a social butterfly,” Shore said. “She celebrates every holiday. It doesn’t matter what it is. She does it with great fanfare. Every birthday, anniversary, even April Fool’s Day, which is probably one of her favorites.”

Hauser added, “I have loved all of our trips to visit and be with one another. I never would have believed I would live this long, but I know it’s all because of my family.”