Hearts Love 13
Official Obituary of

Bernadette "Bebe" Johnson

January 25, 1933 ~ February 20, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Bernadette "Bebe" Johnson Obituary

Bernadette "Bebe" (Krolczyk) Johnson, lately of Cecil but always of Pittsburgh, returned to the Lord on February 20th, 2024. Bebe was born in Pittsburgh to Frank and Anna (Volchak) Krolczyk as a first-generation Polish-American Pittsburgher on January 25th, 1933, back when her Pirates still played at Forbes Field. She was raised on Jane Street in her beloved South Side. It was there that she bucked the trend set by her older sisters Rita and Dorothy by spending her allowance going to the neighborhood's three "picture houses" rather then buying cigarettes. Before letting her swim in Pittsburgh's public pools, Bebe's mother weighed her down with so many saints' medals that Bebe avoided swimming in the pools' deep ends, worried that she would sink. She gathered the nuts thrown to the children by South Side business owners on Halloween and loved playing stickball in the streets with the neighborhood children. Her sister Rita charmed Duquesne Brewery workers into giving them rides from one end of the South Side to the other. Bebe, who loved her work at South Side Hospital in the South Side, one day found her sister Rita contriving a reason for Bebe to go into a certain patient's room- in that room Bebe met her beloved late husband Charles "Chuck" Johnson, who was at South Side recovering from a workplace accident at J&L Steel. Bebe would work at South Side until it closed, returning to the hospital after a short interruption living outside of the Pittsburgh area when she moved to a military base in Georgia to be with her new husband as he served in Fort Benning Georgia. She loved the sun and made lifelong friends in Georgia but was happy to return to Pittsburgh. She loved Kennywood and dressing in red & white to go to Polish Day. She called her chatty nieces "papugas" (parrots), she called babies "paczki" ( little sweet donuts), she called Jesus "Jezus", she always sang "sto lat, sto lat niech zyje, zyje nam" at birthdays, and she told you to "go to the birds" if you tried to thank her for a gift she had given you. Bebe was comforted by her Catholic faith and lately attended St. Mary Church in Cecil, and also spent many years attending Faith Chapel Community Church in Lawrence. Like a true South Side girl, Bebe never learned to drive, but instead excelled at giving directions and ending up at restaurants where she would often insist on paying. She loved collecting Pittsburgh sports memorabilia, flea markets, milk being cheaper in West Virginia, and the Dollar Tree - but most of all she loved her family. Bebe is preceded in death by her husband, Chuck Johnson, her parents, her two older sisters, Rita (Irvin Close) and Dorothy (Henry Krieger), her niece Nancy Cross, her nephews Wayne Close and Raymond Cross, Jr., as well as many cherished friends, family,and friends who were like family. Aunt Bebe is survived by her kids, Cindi (Steve Smith), Danny Close (Joann) , Lori (Terry Shultz), Karen Cross, Susan Cross, Keith Cross, her nephew, Leonard  Kreiger (Joann); twelve great nieces and nephews, Renee (Jim Sarver), Matthew Smith, Nathan Smith (Tara), Melissa Close,Stacey (Rick Tomlinson), Andrew Shultz (Naomi), Elizabeth Shultz, Emily (Bret Pallotto), Aaron Shultz, Daniel Close, Abigail Close, and Jakub Kreiger; and eight great - great nieces and nephews, Carolyn Tomlinson, Charlie-Ray Tomlinson, Emslee Smith, Evaline Smith, Elio Pallotto, Theodore Shultz, Oliver Shultz, and Nico Pallotto - all of whom love her dearly. She is also survived by the young Catholics she sponsored during their confirmations and by her enduring legacy of storytelling. Aunt Be's lasting advice was to eat czarnina (duck blood soup) to stay healthy and live a long life, marry someone you love (even if they're not Polish), and to add salt to your beer.
Her final requests included designating her nieces as her pall bearers and asking to be driven around her South Side one last time before her interment in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you share memories of Pittsburgh with your loved ones and remember that the next time your phone rings just once, that's Aunt Be calling to let you know that she got home safe.

Family and friends will be received Tuesday, February 27, 2024, from 4-8pm, at the Sollon Funeral and Cremation Services, LTD, 30 East College Street, Canonsburg, Phillip L. Sollon, supervisor, 724-746-1000.
Services will be held Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at 11am, in the funeral home, with Pastor Jim O'Brien, officiating.
Interment will follow in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville.
Please visit www.sollon.com to leave online condolences.

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February 27, 2024

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sollon Funeral & Cremation Services, LTD.
30 East College Street
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Funeral Service
February 28, 2024

11:00 AM
Sollon Funeral & Cremation Services, LTD.
30 East College Street
Canonsburg, PA 15317


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