Elizabeth "BJ" Johnson

  • Died: May 25, 2017
  • Location: Haverford, Pennsylvania

D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall

2811 West Chester Pike
Broomall, PA 19008

Tel. (610) 356-4200

Tribute & Message From The Family

Beloved Wife, Mother and Grandmother and Restaurant Owner


Elizabeth Jane Antonello, 68, passed away on May 25 at her home in Conshohoken, PA. She was born on April 22, 1949 in Pittston, PA to Biondo and Elvira Antonello.

Elizabeth, known as Betty Jane and BJ, grew up in Pittston, and was Captain of the Majorettes, Secretary of the Student Body, and May Queen, among many other involvements, at St. John the Evangelist High School, from which she graduated in 1967.

After high school she attended Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA where she received a degree in Education in 1972, as the first college graduate of her family. After marrying Eugene Johnson that same year, she worked as a second grade teacher, prior to opening Gullifty's Restaurant in Rosemont, PA, with her husband, and business partner, Andy Zangrelli. With its opening in 1975, Gullifty's was the first of its kind, a full scale restaurant, with a multi-faceted food menu & bar. Elizabeth's 25 years of selfless dedication to Operations and Training helped guide Gullifty's, and the principles she instilled has enabled it to flourish today, 42 years on.

With her unparalleled ability to connect with strangers, family, and friends and her commitment to service and love, she became a bridal gown consultant at the Wedding Shoppe, Suki Rosan, and finally, Pricilla of Boston's. Elizabeth, instinctually brought brides closer to their most cherished moments, until she needed to focus full time on her cancer treatment.

Elizabeth was diagnosed with two different types of simultaneous breast cancer at stage 4, in 2012, eventually advancing to liver and brain. While stage 4 cancer is not curable, treatments exist that can extend patients a high-quality life for years. Elizabeth studied the disease ceaselessly to find leads on optimal treatments. She eventually connected with oncologist Angela DiMichelle, at UPenn, in consultation with Sloane Kettering's nationally renowned Jose Baselga.
Armed with strength, courage, and a relentless love for her family, Elizabeth faced this adversity with courage and grace, inspiring all in her path. Never a complaint, always a smile, and forever an optimist, she dedicated her life to her friends and family, fighting through to meet her 7 grandchildren: Evelyn, Abbey, Janie, Camille, Antonella, August, & Elzie. Her light has become her children's legacy.

Please join Tiffany, Kris, Jason, & Tamara in celebrating Elizabeth's light & love on Tuesday evening, May 30th, from 6:30-8:30pm at D'Anjollel Memorial Home, 20811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA, 19008.

Memorial Mass will take place at St. John Neumann, 380 Highland Lane, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 on Wednesday May 31st at 10:30am, with viewing prior, at 9:30am.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Elizabeth's name to Pennies in Action, an organization focused on finding a cure for cancer. www.penniesinaction.org

Beloved Mother of Tiffany Maguire (Paul) and Kristian Johnson and Jennifer Furlong, Jason Johnson (Ericka) and Tamara Johnson (Matthew Conlin); 7 granddaughters, her siblings; Louis (Valerie), Biondo "Booty" (Della) , Margaret "Peggy" Hoover (Joseph) and the late Joseph Hoover.

Relatives and friends are invited to her Visitation on Tuesday evening, 6:30-8:30 PM at the Danjolell Memorial Home of Broomall, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, Pa 19008. On Wednesday morning, Visitation in Church, 9:30-10:15 AM, followed by her Funeral Mass at 10:30 at St. John Neumann Church, 380 Highland Lane, Bryn Mawr, Pa 19010. Interment Private.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Please provide me with a means to contact the family directly. I knew their mother and would like very much to share my story of their mom.

Posted by JOHN OVALLES - East Greenwich, RI - Friend   December 11, 2017

"Betty Jane" was our neighbor for many years, and my sister's friend. I was sad to read of her passing. My sympathy to her family.

Posted by Marion    June 04, 2017

To the family of BJ Antonello:
I learned today of your mom's passing when I was reading the obituary for her sister Peggy. My sincere condolences for both losses. Your Mom and I were classmates for eight years at St. Mary's School in Pittston. Our paths diverged for some time and then crossed again at Penn State where we would reminisce about our days as "St. Mary's girls." Though we did not keep in touch over the years, I often thought of your Mom, especially when I would pass St. Mary's, or look at old photos, or go up Market Street hill in Pittston. BJ and I - and our other classmates - shared the journey from young school girl to young lady, and I will always cherish my fond memories of her. I extend my deepest sympathy to all of you.

Posted by Romayne DeFaveri Grangereau - Exeter, PA - Classmate   June 04, 2017


I feel privileged that I was able to spend time with BJ last year at the Y. She was always a "light" in my day. She was there with her cancer support group. I began to realize what a walking miracle she was in so many ways. She was the support to everyone else and never sought it for herself. She was a role model for living! She was courageous and determined as she fought her "battle." This battle she did not fight for herself, she fought it for her children and grandchildren. She wanted extra time with them.
She kept her sense of spirit and always made me feel better for having been with her.
Her daughter is a lifelong friend of my daughter Meg and when Meg was married in 2008 it was BJ that helped her choose her gown. It was just beautiful and she was with us that day helping Meg and all of us with our wedding day jitters. She was our wedding angel.
We remember her during Tam and Meg's high school years balancing game attendance and juggling all her duties at her restaurant. She was the heart of it all and it was easy to see that..
I still go to the Y where we bicycled together chatting about our kids, grandchildren and life and it has never been the same. I still see her there with that infectious laugh as she worked hard to keep on living. I will never forget her. Thank you BJ. She is now watching over us all.
I will check in with her often.
With love and sympathy,
Joan Blaschak

Posted by Joan Blaschak - Havertown, PA - Friend   May 30, 2017

Thank you BJ for "30 Years of friendship" that started thru soccer and gave me the most loving and giving friend I ever had. I will miss you so much, but you will always be in my heart and my friend for ever. You will be remembered by all the Severini family.

Posted by Maria Severini - Havertown, PA - Friend   May 28, 2017

Your Mom was my babysitter for a 4 year period of my childhood . She was the prettiest and most fun babysitter I could ever ask for. She had a positive influence on me to be actively involved in high school activities and continue on to pursue a college degree. I have very fond memories of her that I will carry forever in my heart. My sincerest sympathy to all of you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers during this sorrowful time .

Posted by Joyce Adonizio Olsom - Ramona, CA - Family Friend   May 27, 2017

Such a beautiful woman in every way. Condolences to Betty Jane's family. Carol (Insalaco) and Robert Kaluzavich, St. John's class of '67.

Posted by Carol Kaluzavich - Pittston, PA - Classmate   May 27, 2017

Family Album