The joint award was fitting because they were a unit, inseparable and tireless in their efforts to improve and serve the village where they planted their roots.
Kim, with her compassion, empathy, intelligence, generosity, kindness, love, honesty, and sense of humor, was one of God’s blessings. She served as an officer for multiple town boards, from zoning to trash. She was a life member of the Noank Volunteer Fire Department, having served for over 25 years as an EMT and fire police.
She was a foster mother who frequently took in strays, both two and four-legged. She served on the board of Noank Baptist Group Homes for many years as a champion for teens in need of residential stability. For over 40 years Kim was an active member of Noank Baptist Church, just up the hill from her house, raising her voice in song and using her talents to promote social justice throughout the world.
Kim and Ed were married on June 29, 1969, at her family’s homestead in North Pomfret, Vermont. Daughter Lacy joined the family in 1978.
Kim graduated from Westport’s Staples High School in 1964 as a National Merit Scholar and attended Beloit College in Wisconsin and Briarcliff College in New York, studying physical anthropology and chemistry.
In her professional career she worked for a number of companies, including Insurance of North America (INA) and AT&T. She retired in 2011 due to health issues, but service to her neighbors was her real career, and her commitment to improving all their lives never waned.
Kim is survived by her husband of 50 years, Edward Rice Johnson, by their daughter, in Lacy Kastner Johnson (Richard Libby), by her brothers, Wesley M. Graff III (Janet Young) and Chris Graff (Nancy Price Graff), both of Vermont, their children and grandchildren, as well as many other friends and family far and wide. She is also survived by her godmother, Dorianne Guernsey of Woodstock, Vermont. She was predeceased by her mother, Patricia Kastner Graff McCord, her father, Wesley Monteith Graff, Jr., and her stepfather, Bert McCord.
Kim liked nothing better than sitting with Ed on the Noank town dock watching the comings and goings of boats and tides. She loved gardening and feeding the birds who visited their yard. Like her husband, Kim was an outsized person with an outsized personality that captivated everyone she met. She loved laughing and living in the small corner of the world where she could—and did—make a big difference.
A celebration of Kim’s life will be held Saturday, March 7, at 1 p.m. at the Noank Baptist Church with a reception to follow in the vestry.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her honor to an animal rescue organization, Noank Historical Society, or Noank Baptist Church.