View Archive



Dec. 18, 1921-Dec. 29, 2007

Mary Louise Douglas, 86, widow of former Charlotte Mayor Ben Douglas Sr. and president of Douglas Furs Inc., died peacefully but unexpectedly Saturday at Presbyterian Hospital.

Born to the late Lucille Todd and Frederick Schweikert in Goldsboro, N.C., Mary Louise was crowned Miss Goldsboro in 1939. She belonged to a champion North Carolina swim team as a girl, and also was the first Wayne County Girl Scout to win a merit badge. She was a graduate of Peace College. An only child, she always treasured her extended family and friends.

Mary Louise became the war-time bride of Dr. James Edward Johnson, MD, in 1942. Together Mary Louise and Edward raised five children in Chattanooga, Tenn., until Dr. Johnson's death in 1966.

Mary Louise married former Mayor Ben Douglas in 1967, for whom Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is named.

Always active in her community, Mary Louise was a member of Westminster Church and Myers Park Country Club. She was a founding member of Tower Club, Women Executives, Business Women Owners and a lifetime member of the Eastover Garden Club, among others, all while president of Douglas Furs.

Survivors include her five children, their spouses, and her grandchildren: James Edward Johnson Jr. and his wife, Dawn, of Charlotte, and their children Eddy, Kimberly Forrester and Trevor MacFall; William Burrell Johnson and his wife, Brenda, of Cookeville, Tenn.; Mary Lou Johnson of High Springs, Fla., and her daughter, Lindsey; Todd Frost Johnson of Charlotte; and Montgomery Larkin Johnson and his wife, Robin, of Kannapolis, N.C. and their children, Tatum, Benton and Emory; Mrs. Douglas' cousins, Frank and Marty Furr of Wilmington, N.C., and Corinna and Gordon Herbert of Chapel Hill, N.C.; nephew, Bill and Harriett Bathman of Tempe, Ariz.; and stepgrandson, Ben Douglas III.

Our world has lost a true lady of natural grace, strength, warmth and loveliness. We long will miss the beauty of her smile and sparkle of her spirit.

Funeral service for Mrs. Douglas will be held at West-minster Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 11 a.m. The family will receive friends at Hankins and Whittington Funeral Service on Tuesday, Jan. 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. Interment will be private in Forest Hills Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Memorials may be made to the Greater Carolina's American Red Cross, P.O. Box 36507, Charlotte, N.C. 28236 or to Westminster Presbyter-ian Church, 101 Colville Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28207

Arrangements are in the care of Hankins and Whittington, 1111 East Blvd. Online at www.hankinsandwhittington.com.


Published in Obituaries on January 2, 2008 3:00 PM