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Essie Jean (Bates) Johnson

June 16, 1944 ~ March 3, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old


Essie Jean Johnson, age 78, of Howe, IN passed away peacefully on Friday, March 3, 2023 at her residence.  Mrs. Johnson was born on June 16, 1944 in Bevinsville, KY to Cann Bates and Mary Jane (Mullins) Nemore.  On December 22, 1961, Essie married Tommy Johnson in Kentucky.  Essie worked as a machine operator at CTS in Middlebury, IN for 9 years.  Prior to CTS, she was employed by Brighton Mushroom Farm near Howe, IN.  Essie loved tending to her garden, flowers, and yard decor.  She loved her Canine Companion, Hawk, spending time with her loved ones, and above all soaking in every precious moment with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  


Survivors include:

Daughter, Penny and Scott Davis of Howe, IN.

Daughter, Treas and Jerry Combs of Howe, IN.

Son, Tommy and Bobby Johnson of Burr Oak, MI.

Granddaughter, Amy and TJ Riser of Howe, IN.

Grandson, Jason and Eliza Johnson of Howe, IN.

Grandson, Eric and Vikki Johnson of Howe, IN.

Grandson, Timothy and Stephanie Combs of Howe, IN.

Granddaughter, Ashley Combs and Lavon Miller of Howe, IN.

Granddaughter, Crystal and Nathan Grabe of Sturgis, MI.

Great-grandchildren, Hope and Jayden Riser, Sawyer and Kylie Johnson, Hailey Acree, Myka, Everlee, and Adalynn Grabe, Eric Jr., and Austin Johnson, Kyan Combs, Breanna and Korbin Welch, and Timothy Hall.

Great-great-grandchildren, Malcolm and Violet Baker, Korra Wheeler, and Onyx Welch.

Brother, Gary Little of Jackscreek, KY.

Brother, Larry Little of LaGrange, IN.

Sister, Shirley Moore of Howe, IN.

Sister, Thelma Hall of Jackscreek, KY.

Special Nieces, Angela Marion and Mary Taylor.

Essie was preceded in death by her parents, spouse, sister, Joan Little, and brother, John Nemore.


Funeral service will take place on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 2:00pm with calling two hours prior from 12:00pm-2:00pm at Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 603 South Detroit Street, LaGrange, IN 46761.

Officiating the services will be Pastor Kenneth Beverly.

Burial will take place following the services at Mongo Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be directed to Ark Animal Sanctuary of LaGrange, IN.

To sign the online guestbook, visit or find us on

Arrangements and care trusted to Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services of LaGrange, IN. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Essie Jean (Bates) Johnson, please visit our floral store.


March 9, 2023

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services
603 S Detroit St
LaGrange, IN 46761

Funeral Service
March 9, 2023

2:00 PM
Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services
603 S Detroit St
LaGrange, IN 46761


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