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‘She was an amazing person;’ friends of murder victim speak out after second arrest made

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A community is mourning the loss of one woman from Jackson County, after she was murdered Thursday of last week. Two people have been arrested in connection with Cheyenne Johnson’s death, and now friends of Johnson are hoping to share a glimpse of the good she brought into the world while she was here.

Family friend Jennifer McCafferty has known Johnson for more than two decades. She says she wants people to know that Johnson has a daughter whom she loved more than anything in the world. McCafferty told WSAZ, “she was an amazing person. We know she wasn’t perfect, no one is, but she was ours and we loved her.”

McCafferty also wrote the obituary for Johnson and shared it with WSAZ, in part:

Cheyenne Danielle “Spanky” Johnson, 35, of Cottageville, WV joined her mother and sister in Heaven on April 29, 2021. Cheyenne was born on November 6, 1985 to Jess and Melanie Boggess Johnson, becoming the final piece to a family that means so much to so many.

Cheyenne, like her sister, was an angel long before she gained her wings. She represented everything wonderful in life. She was beautiful, smart, and so funny. She was the life of every party, and could light up a room with her smile. To know Cheyenne was to love her, and so many did.

Cheyenne was a lifelong member of Fisher Chapel United Methodist Church in Romance, WV. She spent her childhood in 4-H, showing animals at the Jackson County Junior Fair with the Golden Achievers. She was a natural athlete, playing both basketball and softball throughout adolescence.

She loved animals as much as she loved her people, and never did learn to say “no” when it came to one in need. She also had a passion for makeup, nails, and hair. You never knew what color she would show up with with any of those things, but you could guarantee it was going to be something just as bright as her personality. It didn’t matter what Cheyenne was doing, she was going to excel at it. Except for being on time, she wasn’t ever able to get the hang of that. She could outbake anyone’s grandmother, and took great pride in it. She didn’t go anywhere without her duct tape, and if something was broken she was going to try to fix it.

Family and friends were everything to Cheyenne, and if you were her friend you were family. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for someone she loved. But of all the people and things she loved in life, nothing meant more to her than her daughter. Gwendolyn was the light of Cheyenne’s life. She meant more to Cheyenne than anything or anyone ever could. She tried to be the best mother to Gwenie, and she was. She left this world because she had to, but if the love she had for her daughter was enough to save her, she would have lived forever.

They say only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend, and that’s true. Cheyenne had the best nieces, and considered herself to be the luckiest woman in the world because of it. She loved her Adriana May, Bailey Jane, and Toodles like they were own. While we know leaving them broke her heart as much as it did theirs, we have no doubt that the transition from aunt to guardian angel was a seamless one.

A wise woman once said that grief is love with no place to go, and she was right. Without Cheyenne, the nights will appear a little darker, and the sun won’t seem to shine as bright. We will love her for the rest of our lives, and miss her until we can see her again.

‘We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.’

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