Pearl Dimple Johnson
Pearl Dimple Johnson
Born: 7 Feb 1902
Chestnut Mound, Smith County, Tennessee
Died: 10 May 1994 Yucca Valley, San Bernadino, California
Spouse 1: Amzira Reynolds b. 21 Mar 1902
d. 27 Dec 1950
Married: 29 July 1923
Date is not confirmed; however, believed to be correct -- Most likely in Macon County,
Spouse 2: Gerald Melvin Cooper b. 8 Feb 1896 d. 19 Feb 1983
Married: 13 May 1953 in Downey, California.
Henry Johnson Reynolds
-- 2 daughters / Henry Jay Reynolds
Mary Alda Reynolds
-- 4 sons / 2 daughters
Ellen Anne Reynolds
-- 4 sons / 2 daughters
A brief history of Pearl Dimple Johnson
Pearl Dimple Johnson was born to Clodia Margaret Wyatt and Sidney L. Johnson on February 7, 1902 in Chestnut Mound,
Smith County, Tennessee. She was the 7th of nine children. As a very young child, Pearl accompanied her parents for
a covered-wagon trip to Texas. However, the Johnson family returned to Tennessee soon afterward.
In 1923 she married Amzira Reynolds of Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tennessee. They made their early family life in
Shelbyville where Pearl gave birth to three children. Henry Johnson Reynolds was their eldest, born in 1924, followed
by Mary Alda who was born in 1928.
Pearl was never one of strong constitution and birthing babies was difficult for her. When she was pregnant with Ellen Anne,
three doctors (the required number at the time) signed that she must have an abortion in order to survive. However, Pearl
always averred that "no one's going to kill a baby of mine!" And thus, she braved a difficult birth, and her third child,
Ellen Anne was born in 1931.
California: During WWII, Amzira and Pearl Reynolds moved their family to California where work was plentiful, but soon
missed their family and returned to Shelbyville, Tennessee. However, they had gotten the California fever, and returned
again just after the War, with their daughters (Mary) Alda and (Ellen) Anne voraciously singing all the way, "California,
here I come, right back where I started from!" California was where the Reynolds family would remain.
Amzira suffered a terrible aneurysm just before Christmas in 1950 and passed away on December 27 at the age of 48. Pearl
was thus widowed at only 48. It was a difficult time for Pearl who was thus thrust into having to learn to take care of
herself; however, she became a beautician and enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course in order to enhance her ability to cope
in the business world.
In 1953, however, Gerald (Jerry) Cooper swept her off her feet... quite literally... as they enjoyed many a night on the
dance floor. Pearl would later describe it as "divine!" And, when she was preparing to go to assist her daughter Anne
with the birth of her first child, Jerry insisted that they marry as he was afraid that she would meet someone who would
steal her away from him. Jerry and Pearl were married May 13, 1953.
Initially, Pearl and Jerry remained in the home that she had shared with Amzira; however, strange occurrences kept
happening and Pearl and Jerry moved to Eagle Rock, California. Pearl said that Amzira always said that if anything
happened and she remarried that he would come back and haunt her. Pearl and especially Jerry, were emphatic that this
was true as long as they remained in Amzira's house.
Pearl and Jerry liked living in Eagle Rock, where their home was half a block from Jerry's barbershop. Many were the
times that their children would visit along with their multitude of Grandchildren. Altogether, Pearl (and Amzira) had
15 Grandchildren. Since most of the children had never had the privilege to meet Grandpa Amzira, they took Jerry into
their hearts as their Grandpa.
Progress comes and the state decided that they must put a freeway through the middle of the barbershop, and thus Pearl
and Jerry were compelled to move. They relocated to Garden Grove, California.
In February 1983, Jerry passed away, and once again Pearl was widowed. Pearl remained in their home in Garden Grove for
several years, but was finally compelled to move into a retirement village which she hated.
Realizing her despair, Pearl's son Henry brought her home with him to Yucca Valley, where he set up her mobile home on
his property, where she stayed as long as her health permitted.
Pearl passed away on May 10, 1994 in Yucca Valley, San Bernadino County, California. She was buried in Sunnyside Memorial
Park in Long Beach, California with her first husband Amzira Reynolds. (Jerry Cooper's ashes were buried at sea.)
Pearl was a gracious southern woman who loved her family and God. It always seemed as if she needed careful cossetting --
and yet in other ways she was the tree that would not bend in a hurricane.
1- 1910 U.S. Federal Census -- Civil District 1, Macon, Tennessee. Listed (Page 17 of 42) Sidney L Johnson 46,
Clodia B Johnson 43, Lillian E Johnson 17, Hazden H Johnson 14, Henry Johnson 11, Pearl D Johnson 8,
Johnie Johnson 6, Beula B Johnson 2
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 1, Macon, Tennessee;
Roll: T624_1510; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 38; Image: 619.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations
Network, Inc., 2006. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA Original data:
United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National
Archives and Records Administration, 1910. T624, 1,178 rolls.
2- 1920 U.S. Federal Census -- -- Lafayette, Macon, Tennessee. Listed (Page 2 of 59) Sidney L Johnson 55, Claudia E Johnson 53,
Cloyde Johnson 29, Pearl D Johnson 17, Jahue W Johnson 15, Ruelal B Johnson 12.
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Lafayette, Macon, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1753; Page: 1B;
Enumeration District: 36; Image: 925.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:
The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.
Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago City. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the
Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration,
1920. T625, 2,076 rolls.
3- 1920 Macon County, Tennessee Census -- Dis: 1 HN: 17. Listed: Pearl D. Johnson, 17
4- 1930 U.S. Federal Census -- District 2, Washington, Kentucky. Listed (Page 11 of 20) Amyira Reynolds 28, Pearl J Reynolds 28,
Mary A Reynolds 1 8/12. (Researcher's Note: It is unclear where Henry, age 5 is. I have been unable to locate him with
relatives. Could he simply have been missed?)
5- Social Security Death Index:
Name: Pearl D. Cooper
Last Residence: 92508 Riverside, Riverside, California, United States of America
Born: 7 Feb 1902
Died: 10 May 1994
State (Year) SSN issued: California (Before 1951)
6- California Death Index
Name: Pearl Dimple Cooper
[Pearl Dimple Johnson]
Social Security #: 551405458
Birth Date: 7 Feb 1902
Death Date: 10 May 1994
Death Place: San Bernardino
Mother's Maiden Name: Wyatt
FATHER'S SURNAME: Johnson