"Show me the true meaning of life and what purpose I have for my time in this world." - Missy Johnson
Students at MVNU are remembering the life of Melissa “Missy” Renee Johnson.
Johnson, a resident of Corry, Pennsylvania, died the week before Christmas at the age of 21 due to
injuries caused by a car accident. She was a senior at MVNU preparing to graduate with a nursing degree.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, Johnson’s car was struck on the passenger side around 2 a.m. driving west on Route 957. Johnson’s car slid sideways on the snow- and ice-covered road into the path of
a truck driven by Karl Gossman, 33, of Erie.
Students at MVNU mourn the loss of such a beautiful friend, but celebrate the life she led. Close friends and family shared bittersweet memories of the time they were blessed to know her.
“Melissa was a young lady with a twinkle in her eye,” Johnson’s mother, Jill, said. “She was full of life and loved the Lord. She would always light up a room with her smile.”
“Missy had a joyful presence on campus,” Johnson’s roommate, Rachel Goeppinger, said. “She was always happy, always smiling and willing to help anyone and everyone.”
Brooke Hager, a recent graduate from MVNU and Johnson’s former roommate, shared many fond memories of her time with Johnson.
“She was always up for trying something new; she was very adventurous,” she said.
Hager remembers one adventure when Johnson suggested riding a ripstick for the first time in the Pioneer parking lot.
“We didn’t know what we were doing,” Hager said. So, the two friends held on to each other to keep from “falling on our faces.”
Friends, family and fellow students also remembered Johnson’s life by posting on Facebook and Instagram.
“When I found out that Missy had passed away, my heart dropped,” senior Kayla Curtis said. “Seeing the posts on social media encouraged me, because I was able to see the impact that she had on others.”
“I will always remember her as the sweet, kind, smiley person she was,” senior Megan Spain said. “She was so selfless and kind and could make anyone smile. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever known, and she will be missed deeply.”
MVNU President Dr. Henry Spaulding shared his sorrow and called for prayer.
“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we share this news with you,” Spaulding said in a campus-wide email. “Our community grieves at this sudden loss and asks that you join in prayer for Missy’s family and friends.”
Johnson’s mother wanted Missy’s friends and fellow students to know how much Missy loved and prayed for them all.
“She was thankful for every day that God allowed her to live,” Jill Johnson said. “She often prayed for you, her friends, classmates and underclassmen.” Jill said Missy prayed for students’ studies, decisions and relationships. “She didn’t want to see you hurt, but to be blessed.”
Johnson’s faith and love for God and others were evident in her relationships and in her personal reflections. “Break my heart for what breaks yours,” Johnson wrote in one of her last prayer journals. “Show me the true meaning of life and what purpose I have for my time in this world. . . Please fill me with life, and help me to find joy in all I do.”