HomeEntertainmentMusicBeloved Dollywood Greeter Known as ‘Ms. Johnnie’ Dies at 94

Beloved Dollywood Greeter Known as ‘Ms. Johnnie’ Dies at 94

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Leon Morris/Redferns)

Tragic news from Dollywood. One of the longtime greeters of Dolly Parton’s amusement park has reportedly passed away at the age of 94. She had been employed at the park for more than 30 years.

According to Today, Johnnie Crawford, who was known as Ms. Johnnie, reportedly passed away at the beginning of December 2021. She notably worked for Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee when it opened in 1986. The late employee also never missed a day of work during her time at the amusement park. 

The media outlet also revealed that Crawford spent most of her time at Dollywood hosting guests at the Chasing Rainbows Museum. The amusement park officials issued a statement about the late employee. “She often said her favorite part of the job was being able to meet so many different people. And learn about them. It was a common sight to see her fellow Dollywood stopping by to say hello and enjoy time with her.”

The late Dollywood employee also opened up to 10 News in 2017 about working for Dolly Parton. “It seems like [Dolly] recognizes us. ‘Oh, you’re still here?’ She’ll say. ‘Yeah, I’m still here, Dolly. I’m gonna stay as long as you are!’”

The longtime Dollywood employee then told the media outlet that she had no real plans to retire. She also said she was really happy to be employed at the park. “I’ve seen people from all over the world. And I found out on thing meeting people from all the world: we’re all the same.”

Obituary of Dollywood Employee Describes Her As Being Tough & Gentle 

The family of Dollywood employee Johnnie Crawford shared her obituary, which described her as being tough and gentle. “She would wake up at 4:30 every morning and walk her dog, Gypsie. She loved to work, stayed happy, and ate what she wanted, including tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches. [Johnnie] will be missed by so many.”

The obituary, which shows a snapshot of Crawford wearing her Dollywood employee nametag, also states that she was a life-long resident of East Tennessee. She is survived by her brothers Pat and Charles Flenniken as well as grandsons Tyler and Bo Crawford, and great-grandsons. She is preceded in death by her mother, sister Barbara Anderson, husband Steve Crawford, her son Steven C Crawford and daughter Jewell Anne Crawford. 

The family of the Dollywood employee then added that since she grew up during the Great Depression, Johnnie had learned how to survive on very little. The obituary also revealed, “She loved Dolly and everything about Dollywood and helping people. She was a great friend to many and an Angel to those who knew her well.”