Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick will not be remembered by her kindness, that much is clear from the scathing obit her kids wrote when she passed away at 79-years-old.
The piece was published in the local paper after the woman died in a nursing home on August 30. The authors were her children, who related horror stories of the woman’s abusive and violent ways.
One of Johnson-Reddick’s children, Katherine Reddick, 57, says they decided to go public with their painful story after getting approval from her brother Patrick Reddick, who lives in Carson City, Nevada.
The now adult children of Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick tell of how they grew up in a Carson City orphanage after social services removed them from their mother’s care and had been estranged from her for more than 30 years.
“Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit,” the now famous obit said. “Our greatest wish now is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”
Six of the eight children were admitted to the orphanage between 1963 and 1964, after being physically and emotionally abused by the woman.
According to one son, Patrick, who still lives in the area, Marianne Therese Johnson-Reddick regularly beat her kids, sometimes with a metal-tipped belt, among other unspeakable acts.
Patrick Reddick says he has received calls from all over the world regarding the obit in which he calls her a “wicked, wicked witch”.
Reddick told the Associated Press that everything said in the obit about their mother is true and that he and his siblings wanted to “shame her a little bit” but that the “main purpose for putting it in there was to bring awareness to child abuse… shame child abuse overall.”
“People doing that right now, they can read that obit and think,” said Patrick Reddick
“I’m a survivor,” he said. “I count my blessings every day. Especially for my wife.”
Back in the eighties, their horror stories helped Nevada become one of the first states in the nation to pass a law to allow children to sever ties with abusive parents.
Former state Senator Sue Wagner, who was the author of the legislation that ultimately was signed into law, recalls meeting with kids at the time.
“I’m very happy that they now are free of their mother,” Wagner said of hearing the news of the woman’s passing.
The obituary of Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick was first published on the Reno-Gazette Journal and from there it exploded into online sites all over the world, who reported on the brutally honest words from the woman’s children in the scathing obit.
[Image via Instagram/Patrick Reddick and Maianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick]