From KERA News:
Mourners including President Joe Biden gathered in Dallas Tuesday night to honor the legacy of former U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who was remembered as a trailblazer who helped shape North Texas over more than half a century in public office.
Johnson, the first Black woman elected to any public office in Dallas County, was praised by those who spoke at Monday’s wake for her efforts to improve Dallas in both the state legislature and in Washington.
“Everything that y’all touch or look at, you can probably think about Eddie Bernice Johnson, and recognize that you are still connected to her,” said Rep. Jasmine Crockett, who replaced Johnson after the longtime Congresswoman retired last year.
Johnson’s family, colleagues and the North Texas community began the new year mourning her death Dec. 31, 2023, at 89.
Johnson’s wake took place Monday night at Concord Church in Dallas, where her funeral will also be held Tuesday. Biden spoke with Johnson’s family privately, but did not make a public statement at the wake and prayed alone in front of her casket.
Johnson will be buried Wednesday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, which is reserved for governors, members of Congress and other significant figures in Texas government.
Speakers repeatedly stressed many of the qualities Johnson was known for throughout her decades in office as an influential public servant with a knack for lifting up others.
“If you were a mentor, she was going to mentor you,” said former congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “And she was a woman who said what she meant and meant what she said.”