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Daisy Belle (Wortman) Cather


Daisy Belle (Wortman) Cather was born on Feb. 22, 1877 in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Ross and Hester Ann (Minerd) Wortman. The family name also has occasionally been spelled "Workman." 

Daisy Belle entered into the bonds of marriage with William Jasper Cather (1872-1954). He was the son of Jasper M. and Virginia (Phillips) Cather and a native of Piedmont, Mineral County, WV.

The Cathers bore a family of at least four children -- Nellie Johnson, William Roscoe Cather, Mabel Rosalie Forman Robison and John Raymond Cather.


Bird's eye view of Keyser, from Queen's Point


When the federal census enumeration was made in 1910, the family resided in Keyser, Mineral County. William was a conductor with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and a member of the Railway Conductors of America. He also held a membership in the David Lodge of the Masons. William ultimately retired from the railroad, and spent his final years residing in their home at 35 Spring Street in Keyser

Daisy belonged to the Rebekah lodge and the auxiliary of the Railroad Conductors of America.


William's obituary, 1954

William was stricken by a heart attack and passed away at the age of 82 on Dec. 18, 1954. The Mineral Daily News Tribune reported that he was survived by eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. After the funeral, held at the First Methodist Church, he was laid to rest at the Queens Point Cemetery. 

Daisy outlived her husband by 11 years, and endured congestive heart failure and heart fibrillation. She also suffered the deaths of her adult sons William (in 1956) and John (1962).

She died at the age of 88, in June 1965, at the home of her married daughter Nellie Johnson in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. Obituaries in the Cumberland News and Connellsville Daily Courier, noted that she was "a native of Dunbar" and was survived by eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Rev. W.W. Harvey, of the family church, preached the funeral sermon.


~ Daughter Nellie (Cather) Johnson ~

Daughter Nellie Cather (1901-1997) was born in about 1901 in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD.

Unmarried at the age of 19, she lived at home and made a living as a school teacher.

At the age of 22, she married 25-year-old Dr. George Hughes Johnson (April 1, 1898-1993), a chiropractor who had been born in Wisconsin and who was the son of Jesse and Mary J. Johnson.

The couple together produced seven children -- Jewell Dye, Jerome Cather Johnson, Robert Johnson, Dr. William Zane Johnson, Henry Warren "Mickey" Johnson, Barbara Jo Boyles Shockowitz and Carolyn Bruce Somerville Spruiell.

They resided in Grafton, Taylor County in 1930, and at that time George's parents lived in the household.

In time the family migrated to South Parkersburg, Wood County, WV, where George maintained his chiropractic practice. Their address for years was 2014 11th Avenue. Nellie was a teacher at one time and earned income working for A.W. Cox Department Store. She belonged to the Order of Eastern Star and for 25 years or more was a member of the Parkersburg Evangelical Methodist Church.

George died on Feb. 26, 1993 at the age of 94.

Nellie succumbed to the angel of death on Dec. 11, 1997 in Parkersburg. An obituary in the Parkersburg News & Sentinel said she was survived by 17 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Rev. Larry Piatt, of the family church, led the funeral service. Burial was in Evergreen North Cemetery.

Daughter Jewell Yvonne Johnson (1926-2008) was born in 1926. She married Joe Edward Dye (May 21, 1924-2005), son of Harold Holton and Genevieve Ruth (Fox) Dye. They resided in Louisville, KY, and had three sons -- Dr. Larry Dye, Dr. Bruce Dye and Barry Dye. Joe sereved in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Jewell was employed by Southern Central Bell Telephone Company, and a member of CAW, The Pioneers and Cloverleaf Baptist Church. Sadly, Joe died on July 18, 2005. He sleeps for all time in Mount Zion Cemetery in Mineral Wells, WV. Jewell passed away at the age of 82, in Louisville, on June 15, 2008. Following a funeral at her church in Louisville, she was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery North in Parkersburg. Her obituary was published in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

  • Grandson Dr. Larry Dye married Harriette.
  • Grandson Dr. Bruce Dye wedded Debbie.
  • Grandson Barry Dye

Son Jerome Cather Johnson (1927-2015) was born on Aug. 29, 1927 in Grafton, Taylor County, WV. In boyhood he relocated with his family to Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. When he was 19 years of age, on July 30, 1947, he was united in matrimony with 19-year-old Mary Louise Wade (Jan. 20, 1928- ? ), daughter of William C. and Pauline Wade of Parkersburg. Rev. H.W. Blackburn, of Trinity Methodist Church, officiated. Three children borne to this marriage were Patsy Dowler, Brenda Amos Tanner and Rev. Jerry Johnson. Jerome served in the U.S. Navy and then went on to employment for 43 years with Corning Glass Works, rising to the position of foreman of the tank room. Jerome's home in 1997 was in Mineral Wells, WV. In his final years he moved to Hixson, TN. The spectre of death swept him away at the age of 87 on April 28, 2015. His son Jerry led the funeral service, with interment in Evergreen North Cemetery. His survivors included 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Patsy Johnson wedded (?) Dowler. She dwelled in Mineral Wells, WV in 2015.
  • Granddaughter Brenda Johnson may have been married twice. Her first husband is thought to have been (?) Amos. Circa 2015, she was the wife of Darrell Tanner and made a home in Chattanooga, TN.
  • Grandson Rev. Jerry Johnson married Sharon and resided in Hixson, TN.

Son Robert "Bob" Johnson (1930-2014) was born on March 29, 1930 in Grafton, Taylor County, WV. On Christmas Eve 1948, when he would have been 18 years of age, Robert entered into marriage with 18-year-old Geneva Grace Reed (March 26, 1930- ? ), daughter of Fred and Ethel (Cox) Reed of Ritchie County, WV and South Parkersburg. The nuptials were performed at Parkersburg by Rev. H.W. Blackburn. The couple's union endured for an extraordinary 75 years until cleaved apart by death. Three offspring produced by the couple were Dr. Michael William Johnson, Susan Diane Akers and Christie DeBarr. They remained in Parkersburg for decades, where Robert was employed for more than 31 years by DuPont. He started with the company in November 1954 and stepped down in about 1985. Geneva worked for Corning Glass. Said the Parkersburg News & Sentinel, Robert "was a local TV repairman for years and was the family Mr. Fix-it. An avid wrestling fan, Bob was a founding member of the Parkersburg South Athletic Boosters... Bob always had a joke, song and a peppermint for anyone he met." They were members of First Evangelical Methodist Church, with both volunteering in a number of roles. She loved to bake, enjoy animals and tending her garden. As grandchildren came along, she followed all of their school, arts and athletic activities. Robert died in Camden Clark Medical Center at the age of 83 on Jan. 28, 2014. Pastor Jeff Williamson of the family church preached the funeral service. Geneva outlived her husband by five years. Death carried her away into eternity, at the age of 89, on April 3, 2019. Pastor Williamson again led the funeral. Their remains are eternally asleep in Sunset Memory Gardens in Parkersburg.

  • Grandson Dr. Michael William Johnson (1954-2012) was born on March 8, 1954 in Parkersburg. He married Elizabeth "Beth" Shepherd ( ? - ? ), daughter of Paul Shepherd. Together, the couple were the parents of Jason Johnson and Megan Renee Johnson. In time the couple divorced. After graduation from high school in 1972, he studied at the National College of Chiropractic Practice in Lombard, IL, where he secured his doctor of chiropractic degree. He formed his own private practice, Johnson Chiropractic Center, which he operated for 35 years. In 2009, his firm received a Viewer's Choice Award from the Parkersburg News & Sentinel as the best chiropractice office in Parkersburg. Active in all sorts of ways, he owned a franchise of Western Sizzlin Restaurant, was elected president of the Parkersburg South Wrestling Boosters, and belonged to the Corvette Club. He also supported the 4-H Boosters. His home in the early 2010s was in Mineral Wells, WV. Sadly, he died at the age of 58 on July 25, 2012 in Camden Clark Medical Center. Pastor Jeff Williamson officiated the funeral service.

Great-grandson Jason Johnson married Kristen. They have lived in Parkersburg and are the parents of Brayden Johnson and Allison Johnson.

Great-granddaughter Megan Renee Johnson (1985-2015) was born on March 9, 1985. With artistic talent, she loved to sing, write songs and paint. She also was a cheerleader in high school and at Fairmont University and played for the West Virginia Heat girls traveling softball squad. She resided in adulthood in Mineral Wells, WV. Sadly, at the age of 30, she died at home on March 18, 2015. Pastor Jeff Williamson led the funeral service. In a Parkersburg News & Sentinel obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Parkersburg Humane Society.

  • Granddaughter Susan Diane Johnson married (?) Akers. She dwelled in 2014 in Parkersburg.
  • Granddaughter Christie Johnson wedded David DeBarr. Their residence has been in Davisville.

Son Dr. William Zane "Bill" Johnson (1932- ? ) was born in on June 29, 1932 in Grafton, Taylor County, WV. During high school, he won a 1951 state wrestling championship. During the Korean War, he served for four years in the U.S. Navy, from 1952 to 1956. At the age of 24, on Sept. 9, 1956, he wedded 20-year-old Dora Jean Nordeck (July 29, 1936- ? ), a native of Richwood, WV and the daughter of James N. and Bernice Nordeck. As he had done for William's brothers Jerome and Robert, Rev. H.W. Blackburn presided over the marriage ceremony, held at Parkersburg. The three children born to the couple were Stacey Renee Williams, Nannette Johnson Rudolph and Dr. William Zane Johnson II. William obtained a doctor of chiropractic medicine. He received degrees from DeVry Institute of Technology, San Antonio College and the Texas Chiropractice College, graduating valedictorian and magna cum laude. He also studied at Donsbock University School of Nutrition. His post-graduate work was done in radiology at the National College of Chiropractic Medicine, one year in physiotherapy at National Chiropractic College and three years in orthopedics at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. In 1972, he received a Ph.D. degree from Pacific University. He He was a radiological health consultant in the profession in West Virginia and a member of the Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness of American Chiropractic Association. He was a co-founding member of the Council on Nutrition of the American Chiropractic Association. Among his other accomplishments, said an obituary, were:

...the West Virginia Chiropractor of the year award. As a member of the West Virginia Chiropractic Association he served as president and vice president as well as service on the Roentgenoly of the American Chiropractic Association. He also served 6 years on the West Virginia Board of Examiners and was chairman of Peer Review. In addition, he served as a delegate from West Virginia to the American Chiropractic House of Delegates.

In the community, William served as president of the Parkersburg Toastmasters and Fort Neal Kiwanis Club and vice president of the South Parkersburg Lions Club. He served the local Veterans of Foreign Wars as surgeon and post commander. He helped found the Parkersburg South High School wrestling boosters group and was active with the Northern Parkersburg Baptist Church and its Old Man Rivers Mission. William and Dora Jean eventually divorced. William passed away at home in Mineral Wells at the age of 71 on May 17, 2004. Co-officiating his funeral service were Rev. Kent Boone and Rev. Dan Wentworth. His remains were placed into the mausoleum of Evergreen Cemetery North.

  • Granddaughter Stacey Renee Johnson wedded Shane Williams. Their home in 2004 was in Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Granddaughter Nannette Johnson married Dr. Robert L. Rudolph. The couple was in Parkersburg in 2004.
  • Grandson Dr. William Zane Johnson II was joined in marriage with Brandi. They put down roots in Lubeck, WV.

Son Henry Warren "Mickey" Johnson (1935- ? ) was born on Sept. 1, 1935 in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. When he was 20 years of age, and she 19, he was joined in the bonds of marriage with Alberta Fay Cunningham (May 18, 1937- ? ), daughter of Gilbert and Juanita Cunningham and a native of Belpre, OH. Rev. H.W. Blackburn, of Trinity Methodist Church, led the wedding ceremony held on June 24, 1956. Circa 1997, he was in Vienna, Wood County, WV.

Daughter Barbara Jo Johnson (1938- ? ) was born on May 24, 1937 in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. She was wedded at least twice. Her first spouse was Jerry Allen Boyles (May 7, 1937- ? ), son of Allen and Genevieve Boyles of Highland Avenue in Parkersburg. The bride and groom were both age 21 at the time. Officiating their nuptials, held on Sept. 27, 1958, was Rev. H.H. Stone of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Later, Barbara Jo was joined in wedlock with Bernard "Bernie" Shockowitz and moved to State College, PA.

Daughter Carolyn Bruce Johnson (1942- ? ) was born on March 11, 1942 in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. At the age of 23, on Aug. 22, 1965, she married 22-year-old Ronnie Dean Somerville (March 17, 1943- ? ), son of Hurshel Lee .and Alta (Pursley) Somerville of 420 Core Road in Parkersburg. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Clark H. Diehl of Parkersburg's Calvary Temple. Carolyn relocated to Oklahoma and in 1997-2015 was in Yukon, OK. Her second husband was Joseph Spruiell.



~ Son William Roscoe Cather ~

Son William Roscoe Cather (1907-1956) was born on March 16, 1907 in Maryland.

Upon graduation from Keyser High School, he attended Potomac State College and Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA. In college, as he had done in high school, he "starred in football and basketball," said the Cumberland (MD) News.

During World War II, he served in the United States Armed Forces.  

He married Violet Juanita Maynor on Jan. 22, 1934, when he was age 27, and she 22. His residence at the time was Mineral County, and hers' as Mullens, Wyoming County, WV. She was the daughter of J.T. and Carrie E. Maynor, of Fayette County, WV. 

Later, William and Violet divorced.

William was a teacher in Virginia as well as Ridgeley and Keyser, WV. He resided in Keyser in 1954 at 36 Spring Street and belonged to the First Methodist Church.

Suffering from the same ailment which felled his mother, William endured congestive heart failure and hardening of the arteries. He died from their effects in the Veterans Administration Center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV at the age of 49, on July 9, 1956. He was laid to rest in Queens Point Cemetery in Keyser.

~ Daughter Mabel Rosalie (Cather) Forman Robison ~

Daughter Mabel Rosalie Cather (1911-1969) was born in on Dec. 20, 1911 in Keyser, Mineral County, WV.

She was twice-wed. Her first spouse was Carter Bruce Forman (March 6, 1907-1948), son of Bruce and Jennie (Killus) Forman of Crellen, MD. They did not reproduce.

In the 1940s, the Formans dwelled in Keyser at 112 North Main Street. Carter was employed as the Keyser area manager of the Pittsburgh Auto Equipment Company.

Tragedy struck just two weeks after Carter's 41st birthday. He fell down a flight of steps and badly injured his cranium, leading to bleeding on the brain. Within 24 hours, he was dead. Burial of the remains was in Queens Point Cemetery.

After a period of grieving, Mabel married a second time to Frank R. Robison Jr. ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce.

Circa 1954 and 1969, they lived in Keyser, at the address of 23 B Street. The couple held a membership in the First United Methodist Church of Keyser.

Sadly, suffering from cervical cancer, Mabel passed away in Keyser's Potomac Valley Hospital at the age of 57 on May 4, 1969. Interment of the remains was in the Potomac Valley Memorial Park, with Rev. W.W. Harvey officiating at the funeral service.


~ Son John Raymond Cather ~

Son John Raymond Cather (1914- ? ) was born on Sept. 20, 1914 in Keyser, Mineral County, WV.

During World War II, he served as a sergeant with the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), an intelligence agency which was a forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency.

He made his home in 1954 in Keyser. 

Afflicted with cancer of the esophagus, John died at the age of 47 on April 8, 1962. Interment of the remains was in Queens Meadow Point Cemetery in Keyser.


Copyright 2006-2007, 2009, 2011, 2021 Mark A. Miner