Johnnie Bendy, an icon in Mineola, died on Monday morning, according to Beaty Funeral Home in Mineola. Bendy was 94.
Bendy had been recognized as a distinguished teacher both locally and nationally. She taught in segregated schools for 20 years and another 18 after integration.
Bendy was named after her father, who died in the great flu epidemic of 1918, just three weeks before she was born. Bendy's mother, Lee Ella, put an emphasis on education, inspiring her daughter to go to school, working as a domestic for a dollar and a quarter a week through high school and through Texas College.