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Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s daughter reflects on mother’s legacy

‘Her story doesn’t stop’: Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s daughter reflects on mother’s legacy

AND SHE TRANSITIONED IN 2020 FOR THOSE DATES. THOSE YEARS ARE ALWAYS IMPORTANT, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THAT IS THAT HYPHEN IN BETWEEN. SEE, THE HYPHEN IS THE LEGACY KEY REPRESENTATIVE AKO ABDUL-SAMAD, SPEAKING TODAY DURING THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR TERRY CALDWELL JOHNSON, THE LONGTIME DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND OAK RIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD PRESIDENT AND CEO, DIED LAST MONTH AFTER A BATTLE WITH CANCER. TODAY, THE COMMUNITY CELEBRATED THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF CALDWELL JOHNSON. SHE HELPED SHAPE THE CITY OF DES MOINES AND IMPACTED CENTRAL IOWA FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES. KCCI JODI LONG TALKED WITH THE WOMAN WHO ALSO KNEW HER AS MOM. YEAH, BEN STACEY. SHE WAS A CROWN JEWEL IN CENTRAL IOWA. SHE ENCOURAGED US TO THINK BIGGER WHILE MANAGING TO DO IT IN STYLE. SHE HAD QUITE THE FASHION SENSE. TERRY CALDWELL JOHNSON WAS A BELIEVER IN PEOPLE. I SAT DOWN WITH TERRY’S DAUGHTER, BAXTER, WHO CALLED HER MOM HER FAVORITE PERSON. I WAS LOOKING AT A LOT OF THOSE TRIBUTES ON HER PAGE AND WHAT’S ALL OUT IN SOCIAL MEDIA, AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE THE WAY THAT THOSE PEOPLE FELT ABOUT HER IS THE SAME WAY THAT I FELT ABOUT HER, AND EVEN LIKE TO LOOK, UM, HAD A LOT OF THE YOUTH THAT SHE IMPACTED. THEY WERE CALLING HER MOTHER, TERRY, GRANDMOTHER TERRY. SO SHE WAS MY MOM. BUT SHE WAS A COMMUNITY MOTHER AS WELL TO COMMUNITY GRANDMOTHER. IT’S SO CRAZY BECAUSE GROWING UP, PEOPLE WERE LIKE, WHO’S YOUR MAMA? I’M LIKE, MY MOM. UM, AND THEN LIKE, NOW PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO LIKE, UNDERSTAND WHY MY ANSWER NEVER CHANGED. SPECIFICALLY, SHE SAW BLACK MEN AND BLACK WOMEN IN DES MOINES, AND SHE SAID THAT WE NEED TO BE IN THOSE SPACES, NOT JUST ME ALONE. SHE SAID THAT WE ALL NEED TO BE AT THAT TABLE WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN’T SEE THAT WITHIN THEMSELVES. MY MOM SAW IT. SHE BELIEVED IN THEM. AND OVER TIME, EVERYONE GREW TOGETHER. AND WHEN I LOOK AT THE COMMUNITY AND OUR LEADERS, I SEE MY MOM. SOME CALL CALLED HER THE THE STANDARD. YEAH, LITERALLY, LITERALLY. SHE DID SHE EVER FEEL LIKE THAT WAS TOO HEAVY FOR HER TO CARRY? I DON’T THINK THAT MY MOM FELT LIKE ANYTHING WAS TOO HEAVY FOR HER TO CARRY. HONESTLY. UM, SHE KNEW THAT WHATEVER WAS THROWN HER WAY, ANY OBSTACLE, ANYTHING THAT SHE, SHE COULD, SHE COULD ACCOMPLISH IT. AND SHE KNEW THAT. I THINK SO MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT, OH, CANCER. IF ANYBODY CAN BEAT CANCER, IT’S TERRY, IT’S TERRY. UM, HOW WERE THOSE FINAL DAYS SPENT WITH YOUR MOM? ALL MY MOM COULD SAY IS, IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. AND I CAN STILL HEAR THOSE WORDS. IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. TERRY’S DAUGHTER, BAXTER, DESCRIBES HER FINAL DAYS SPENT WITH HER MOM AS A BLESSING. AS THE COMMUNITY PREPARES TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT HER, SHE SAYS THE WORK ISN’T OVER. WHAT MY MOM DID WAS LAID DOWN THE BRICKS, BUT NOW WE HAVE TO CONTINUE BUILDING. IT DOESN’T STOP. I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MY MOM WOULDN’T WANT US TO COME TO A HALT. SHE WOULD WANT US TO KEEP GOING. NOTHING STOPS RIGHT HERE. HER STORY DOESN’T STOP TERRY. SHE WAS A FORCE. SHE DIED AT THE AGE OF 68. YOU KNOW, SHE PLANTED SEEDS WHEREVER SHE WENT. AND NOW WE GET TO SEE THAT BLOSSOM. SHE WAS A STRONG WOMAN, A SMART WOMAN, A ROLE MODEL TO SO MANY. SHE WILL BE MISSED. SHE CERTAINLY WILL. SHE WAS SO GENUINE. AND AS THE DES MOINES SUPERINTENDEN CALLED HER IN HER CELEBRATION OF LIFE THIS AFTERNOON, SHE SAID. HE SAID SHE IS ROYAL AND REGAL AND REVERED, AND THA

‘Her story doesn’t stop’: Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s daughter reflects on mother’s legacy

On Friday, hundreds of people paid their final respects to a longtime Des Moines School Board member and community champion. A celebration of life at Plymouth Church honored Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s life, legacy and dedication to service. A handful of notable leaders from central Iowa shared their tributes to Caldwell-Johnson including the mayor of Des Moines, state representatives, the superintendent of Des Moines Schools and other community leaders.She served on the state’s largest school district’s school board for 18 years, oversaw the Oakridge Neighborhood and brought wisdom and counsel to countless boards and organizations throughout central Iowa.Last month, Caldwell-Johnson died following complications of cancer. She was 68 years old. KCCI’s Jodi Long sat down with Caldwell-Johnson’s daughter who says it’s important the community continues to honor the work her mother “What my mom did was lay down the bricks but now we have to continue building,” says Baxtyr Johnson. “She would want us to keep going. Nothing stops right here. Her story doesn’t stop.” KCCI ON SOCIAL MEDIA:Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Twitter

On Friday, hundreds of people paid their final respects to a longtime Des Moines School Board member and community champion. A celebration of life at Plymouth Church honored Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s life, legacy and dedication to service.

A handful of notable leaders from central Iowa shared their tributes to Caldwell-Johnson including the mayor of Des Moines, state representatives, the superintendent of Des Moines Schools and other community leaders.

She served on the state’s largest school district’s school board for 18 years, oversaw the Oakridge Neighborhood and brought wisdom and counsel to countless boards and organizations throughout central Iowa.

Last month, Caldwell-Johnson died following complications of cancer. She was 68 years old. KCCI’s Jodi Long sat down with Caldwell-Johnson’s daughter who says it’s important the community continues to honor the work her mother

“What my mom did was lay down the bricks but now we have to continue building,” says Baxtyr Johnson. “She would want us to keep going. Nothing stops right here. Her story doesn’t stop.”

KCCI ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Twitter



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