Blanche Laverne Johnson Fleming “Sis” was born in Scottsville, Virginia on January 31, 1919, to the
late Jacob T. And Blanche E. Johnson. She was the first born out of six children.
“Sis” was educated in the Albemarle County School System and joined St. John’s Baptist Church at an
early age. Shortly after completing high school, she moved to New Jersey and continued her Christian
walk by joining Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey. Years later, Blanche joined the
Fleming family church, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.
Blanche and Rache met shortly after Rache returned home from serving in the U.S. Army. After an
extensive courtship of many years, they were united in holy matrimony in 1964. They then adopted their
only child, Jacob in 1972. Blanche and Rache married for forty-four years until his passing on July 9th,
During their marriage, “Sis” continued to work retail while caring for her husband and raising her son.
During her career, Blanche had over sixty years in retail which included; S. Klein Department Store,
McCrory’s Five and Dime, Modern Woman and the Avenue.
“Sis” was a woman of strong faith who was dedicated to her family and friends. Throughout her life,
she enjoyed helping others and found great joy in making others happy. “Sis” loved listen to blues and
gospel music. Her favorite of all pastimes was watching various programs on television. She loved
Steve Harvey’s Family Feud, Jerry Springer and most of all wrestling matches. She always stayed
current on the latest wrestling events, knew all the wrestlers particularly “The Rock” and enjoyed
talking with her great nephews, Jonathan and Anthony about the upcoming wrestling events. Even in
her 90’s, she was still making new friends while attending bingo and bible study in the senior
community building where she lived. It was sharing these type of moments with her family and friends
that brought her true joy day in and day out.
“Sis”, the matriarch of the family, always knew the schedule of all the family members. Often one of
“Sis’s” nieces would call her and listen while “Sis” would be the one telling her the agendas for the day
of the other family members. She always kept her phone close by and would always end her phone calls
with “call me at any time, no matter what time it is, I’ll be awake”!
“Sis” was always well dressed and every outfit had matching shoes along with a matching handbag. She
loved to shop and would always pick up “a little something” just because she saw it and thought it was
nice; her philosophy was that among her sisters and nieces it would fit someone!
Blanche’s spirit of love, devotion and caring towards her family and everyone she met, were always an
inspiration to everyone with whom she interacted. Not only was her kindred spirit an inspiration, but
her ability to remember and take care of herself until her recent illness affected her, was a great
inspiration to those around her as well. She would often say that the minds of today’s youth “weren’t
able to count” because they relied on calculators and computers instead of committing things to memory
as she did.
She was preceded in death by her two brothers, John H. Johnson and Rudolph T. Johnson and one sister
Elsie J. Moon.
Blanche “Sis” transitioned on August 18, 2018 at East Orange General Hospital, East Orange, New
Blanche “Sis” Fleming is survived by her son, Jacob J. Fleming, Sr. of Niagara Falls, New York, two
sisters; Edith J. Bligen of East Orange, New Jersey, Ruth J. Payne of Silver Spring, Maryland, one
brother-in-law, Carl V. Payne II of Silver Spring, Maryland, three grandchildren; Carey M. Winston II
of Montclair, New Jersey, Aneya Fleming-El of Gainesville, Florida, Jacob J. Fleming, Jr. of Atlanta,
Georgia, one great grandchild; JoeNathan F. Young IV of Gainesville, Florida and many other family
“If you live your life with the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow,
you will have no today to be thankful for!”
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