Animals Pets 03

Lola M. Sestrap

September 14, 1948 ~ August 7, 2022 (age 73) 73 Years Old

Lola Sestrap Obituary

Lola M. Sestrap of Bluffton, SC, died peacefully on Sunday, August 7, 2022, following a months-long battle with cancer.  She was born on September 14, 1948, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the only child of George and Wilma Sestrap.  Lola grew up in Bridgeport, WV and earned her BA degree from Alderson-Broaddus College (now University) in Philipi, WV.  She continued her education by earning a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.  She retired as the director of labor relations at Hope Gas Co. in Clarksburg, WV.

Lola successfully raised and showed miniature schnauzers and quarter horses. A lifelong horsewoman, she won many ribbons and awards throughout West Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.  She served on the Board of Directors of The Highland Medical Center, Inc. in Monterey, VA and was Chairman of the Board during that time. 

Lola was predeceased by her long-time companion and husband, Charles G. “Pete” Johnson, who was a third-generation lawyer in Clarksburg, WV.  Although she and Pete never had children of their own, they helped send six young people in Highland County, VA to college through the PepperMin scholarship program.  PepperMin Farm, Lola and Pete’s farm in Highland County, VA, was named for two of their miniature schnauzers, Pepper and Minnie.  For years, Lola and Pete were active in the Highland County Fair Horse Show, where Lola competed regularly and then transitioned to being a member of the Horse Show Committee and Ring Steward for the shows, while Pete volunteered as the show’s announcer for several years.

Lola will be remembered by many for her beautiful soprano voice.  As a teenager, she was selected for the West Virginia All-State Choir several years.  She also sang for years with the Monterey Presbyterian Church choir, the Highland Community Chorus, and the Pendleton County, WV Community Chorus.  She was a member of Monterey Presbyterian Church in Monterey, VA for many years.  She will also be remembered for her uncanny ability to recognize bird songs.  Lola’s mother taught her to recognize bird songs at an early age, and walking anywhere with Lola was always an experience as she opened up a whole new world for you by recognizing each bird song she heard.

Lola never liked Highland County, VA winters, and for the last fifteen years, she took her dogs and her horses south to Hilton Head, SC, and ultimately Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC, for 3-4 months a year.  She made friends easily and is survived by many in SC, WV and Highland County, VA.  She left Highland County in 2021 and moved permanently to Bluffton, SC.

Lola will be remembered as a loyal companion, an accomplished horsewoman, an animal lover, a wonderful singer, and a generous and loving friend.  She is survived by several distant cousins, and special friends, Jayne and Steele Kenyon, Mary and Bob Boisvert,  and Carol Lobdell of Bluffton, SC; Diane White and Steve Harrington of Spring Island, SC and Vermont; and Melissa Dowd of Blue Grass, VA.  Special recognition goes to Cat Pinkney Brown for her dedication to Lola through the years; caregiver Charisse Reid; the many wonderful caregivers of Karen Kelly and “K- Kares”; and the hospice workers of Compassus Hospice.  Sauls Funeral Home in Bluffton, SC will handle the cremation.  Interment of Lola’s cremains, those of her husband, and several of their dogs, will take place at a later date in the Johnson family vault in WV.  There will be no services.  In lieu of flowers, memorials should be sent to an organization of the donor’s choosing.

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