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Johnise Hardesty Koonce

January 27, 1938 ~ December 5, 2020 (age 82)

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Johnise Hardesty Koonce, 82, of New Bern, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020, at the Riverpoint Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Bern.

Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at Core Creek United Methodist Church, officiated by Rev. Bryan Lassiter and Rev. Michael Toler. Interment will follow at the Core Creek United Methodist Church Cemetery. Friends are welcome to attend the service.  (See link below for the Service Bulletin including the Order of Service.) For those unable to attend, the family invites you to view the webcasting of the service through her obituary page on Munden Funeral Home’s website. In keeping with the CDC guidelines pertaining to the Coronavirus, those who are ill or at-risk (elderly, immune-compromised) are encouraged to stay home. Additionally, there will be a limit to the number of people in the building at one time, as well, those who attend will be asked to bring and wear a protective mask. Help us honor the family while practicing safe measures. Friends are also encouraged to leave words of comfort to the family through the website.

Johnise was born on January 27, 1938, in Morehead City, to the late Archie and Sadie Hardesty.  She loved being part of her family farm, Hardesty Farms, which was awarded the Century Farm Award by President Regan.  She drove tractors, straight shift 2 tons trucks, climbed the top rafters of tobacco barns to hang tobacco and all other jobs required to run the farm. She often shared stories of how she was always told, "Run, Johnnie-Rabbit, Run" when working with her daddy in various tasks and loved being at his side. She embraced hard work and lived by the belief of doing any task the right way with honor and integrity.

Education was also a very important part of her life. After graduating from college with a degree in Home Economics, she worked as an Extension agent in Onslow County. She later became a teacher at Caswell Developmental Center in Kinston, and then began her career with the Jones County School System.  She taught Home Economics at Jones Central High School, later Jones Senior High School, and began the first all-male Home Economics class where her students had to make an apron using treadle sewing machines before being able to bring in their wild game to cook.  After obtaining her master’s degree, she became the Vocational Director for Jones Ct Schools.   Her vast knowledge and direction touched many lives throughout the years both in and out of the classroom. 

After retiring from the school system, she broadened her career by beginning a new path of selling AFLAC insurance until retiring to become her mother's caregiver. Her other love was for Cedar Island Beach and the Community.  It was where she spent time with family and close friends.  She loved the spoils of the water, was known for having a "Saturday night spread" of fresh fish or other delights of fresh seafood.  She spent time there reading, putting together puzzles, and enjoying walks on the beach and looking at Pamlico Sound.  

She is survived by her loving daughters, Carla Lou Gray of New Bern, Lee Ann Allen, and Dawn Davis and husband Chip, all of Louisburg, NC; sons, Timmy Koonce and wife Sherry of Trenton and Danny Koonce and wife Penny of Kinston; sister, Geneva Boswell of Greensboro; niece, Lisa Winslow and husband Mike of Greensboro; nephew, Neal Boswell and wife Angela of New York City; grandchildren, Kyle Koonce, Chrissy Koonce, Margo Minkler, Corey Koonce, Casey Koonce, Caleb Allen, Kassie Allen, Erin Joyner and Charlie Davis; 6 great-grandchildren; and special friend and care giver, Linda Kopp, who made her days bright and happy.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, B.C. Gray Jr.; second husband, G.T. Koonce Jr.; and dear friend, Jimmy Hollomon.

The family will receive friends following the graveside service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Cedar Island United Methodist Church at 2943 Cedar Island Rd, Cedar Island, NC 28520 or the Cedar Island Fire Department at 2208 Cedar Island Rd, Cedar Island, NC 28520.

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at

Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home and Cremations, Havelock, NC.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Johnise Hardesty Koonce, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Funeral Service
December 8, 2020

11:00 AM
Core Creek United Methodist Church
124 Hardesty Loop Rd.
Newport , NC 28570

Video is available for this event

Interment Following Funeral Service
December 8, 2020

Core Creek United Methodist Church Cemetery
124 Hardesty Loop Rd.
Newport, NC 28570

Visitation Following Service

Core Creek United Methodist Church
124 Hardesty Loop Rd.
Newport , NC 28570


Cedar Island United Methodist Church
2943 Cedar Island Rd., Cedar Island NC 28520

Cedar Island Fire Department
2208 Cedar Island Road, Cedar Island NC 28520
Tel: 1-252-225-1501

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