Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine “Where Are They Now?” September 2008.
Jerry Johnson and Jacquie Lower
By JoAnn Busenbark
Don’t you love those stories where former high school sweethearts find each other later in life? Well, right here in Napa we have at least one that I am aware of. Let me share it with you. For those of you that graduated from Napa High School in 1963 you may remember Jerry Johnson and Jacquie Lower. They met in school and became sweethearts, even attending the senior prom together. Jerry went off to Arizona State University and Jacquie stayed in the area, attending college at Santa Rosa JC. Jerry’s family continued to live in Napa, so he returned often to visit but never reconnected with Jacquie. Jerry started a career in banking that took him many different places over the years. Jacquie started working at the Queen of the Valley Hospital and, after 30 plus years, she remains an employee. Jacquie worked many years in the ER as a registration clerk and now has other assignments. You will probably find her in Admissions someplace. Stop in and say hi and thanks for sharing your story.
In their personal lives, Jerry married and divorced twice, having four wonderful daughters. Jacquie first married and spent time in Garden Grove. As her husband was a Marine, he was sent to Vietnam. Jacquie then moved back to Napa with their young daughter. Later Jacquie had another daughter. After her divorce, Jacquie continued to live in Napa raising her daughters.
The house Jacquie grew up in on S. Jefferson St. remained her mother’s home and when her Mom remarried, Jacquie took over the house and continues to live there today. They share their time at a family cabin in Clear Lake where they hang out with their six daughters and families.
Jerry’s career in banking lasted for 33 years at several different banks. On a visit to Napa to see his family and perhaps attend NHS reunion, Jerry was told that Jacquie was still in the area and now single. Jerry’s ears perked up and he decided after 30 years from their prom date he would give her a call. Interested in seeing and hearing what had happened over the past 40 years, Jacquie agreed to meet Jerry for lunch. They found that they had fond memories to share and the basic “I like you” chemistry was still there. After a whirlwind courtship, they married. The marriage was eight years ago. The wedding was attended by their six daughters as bridesmaids, a real family affair. They live today in the house where Jacquie was raised and where Jerry, at 17, used to be invited to dinner with Jacquie’s family.
Jerry has changed careers and is the Director of Community Relations for Safari West. His new career gives him a different slant on relating to the public than his banking career. As a mass communications major at ASU, he is very people oriented and loves the community where he grew up. Jerry was recently elected to the board of directors for Napa TV. He is enjoying his reacquaintance with the community he grew up in and wants now to give back his time and energy.
Time marches on no matter what we do, and in the lives of Jerry and Jacquie the paths came full circle. Life can be amazing. Thanks to the Johnsons for being our neighbors.