Cover photo for Hilda Yolanda (Zayas)  Johnson's Obituary
Hilda Yolanda (Zayas)  Johnson Profile Photo
1947 Hilda 2022

Hilda Yolanda (Zayas) Johnson

September 11, 1947 — May 5, 2022



Hilda Yolanda (Zayas) Johnson

Hilda Yolanda (Zayas) Johnson, age 74, of Mechanicsburg, “slipped the surly bonds of Earth” on Thursday, May 5, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  Hilda is preceded in death by her parents, Pedro Zayas and Ramona (Ramos) Zayas, and her sister-in-law, Nancy Bothwell.

Born to Ramona and Pedro Zayas in Patillas, Puerto Rico on Thursday, September 11, 1947, Hilda is survived by her wife of 26 years, Marilyn Lumley; her son, Kevin Johnson and his wife, Christy, of Dublin, OH; her step-daughter, Ali Merli and her husband, Nick, of Mechanicsburg; and her two grandchildren, Emma and Liam, who brought love and light to her life.  Hilda’s surviving extended family includes her sisters-in-law: Jean Sullivan and her husband, Kevin, of Spring Hill, FL; Robbin Svoboda and her husband, Paul, of Clearwater, Florida; Ruth Striffler of Clearwater, FL; and Ellen Larson of Newton Grove, NC.  Hilda held dear the many friends who loved and supported her, especially during her cancer journey over the past 14 months.

After serving in the United States Marine Corps, Hilda raised her family, residing in North Carolina, Minnesota and Florida.  She retired after a successful 35 year career as a store manager with the Eckerd Drug Company and as a customer support specialist for Brooks/Eckerd Drug and Rite Aid Corporation.  If not found solving crossword and Sudoku puzzles, Hilda could be located in her puzzle room at the home she loved over the past 16 years.  Prior to COVID, she enjoyed being a volunteer at New Hope Ministries in Mechanicsburg.  An avid slot machine “player”, Hilda enjoyed having fun at Hollywood Casino.  Hilda had a passion for life and enjoyed traveling extensively over the years with Marilyn, Kevin and Christy.  She loved spending time with, and listening to the giggles of, Emma and Liam and was always proud of the kind and generous adults that Kevin and Ali have become.

All are welcome to join Hilda’s family at her celebration of life gathering for family and friends on Friday, May 27, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a time of remembrance at 5:30 p.m. at Buhrig’s Gathering Place, 25 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, (717) 766-3421 (next to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory); with Celebrant Patti Vogl officiating.  Over 100 parking spaces are available; just look for the “Buhrig” parking signs in all of the parking lots.  Cremation was private.

The family would like to thank the amazing and loving team at the Hillman Cancer Center in Camp Hill, particularly Dr. Chip Reninger III, MD and Nurse Navigator Dana Diehl, RN,OCN; UPMC thoracic surgeon, John Brady III, DO, whose skill as a surgeon and love of his patients made a positive impact during Hilda’s cancer battle. The family will always be thankful for the kindness and care of the medical team at UPMC West Shore Hospital and for the recent love and care shown by the Lady Bug Team at Hospice of Central Pennsylvania.

While Hilda’s family will not be accepting flowers, they invite those wishing to celebrate Hilda’s life with a memorial contribution to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105,; or a charity of your choice.

Hilda’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Hilda’s full obituary, view her memorial video, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign her official guest book by visiting

High Flight

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -

and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -

wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.

Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along

and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle, flew;

and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

the high untrespassed sanctity of space,

put out my hand and touched the face of God."

~John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hilda Yolanda (Zayas) Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life Open House and Gathering of Family & Friends

Friday, May 27, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Time of Remembrance

Friday, May 27, 2022

Starts at 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

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