Cover photo for Albert Johnson Sr.'s Obituary
Albert Johnson Sr. Profile Photo
Albert

Albert Johnson Sr.

d. April 25, 2022

Mr. Albert Johnson, Sr. 94, Passed on Monday, April 25, 2022

Services will be on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 11:00am at

Douglass School Building 102 E Gore Blvd  Lawton, OK 73501

View services online at

Celebration of Life - Mr. Albert Johnson Sr. 

 

The Johnson Family is requesting in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Cameron University Foundation https://www.cameron.edu/foundation/ways-to-give 

 

 

Albert Johnson, Sr. was born at Taylor Hall on Fort Sill on August 27, 1927 and passed away on Monday, April 25th at home with his son and daughter-in-law by his side.  He attended elementary and secondary school at Douglass School in Lawton, a segregated school. Following high school graduation in 1946, he attended Winston-Salem State Teachers College in North Carolina (now Winston Salem State University) to earn his Baccalaureate Degree in 1950. Subsequently, he received his teaching certification from Langston University in 1951. In 1959, he earned his Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Oklahoma.

He began his teaching career back at Douglass School in Lawton. Throughout his forty-four year career he served in various positions including teacher, coach, counselor, principal, Director of Federal Programs and Deputy Superintendent. Students and colleagues knew him to set clear and high standards and establishing the expectation of accomplishment. When Douglass School closed as a result of U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas on May 17, 1954, Mr. Johnson worked closely with Mr. Hugh Bish (Superintendent, Lawton Public Schools) to assist him with the school district’s desegregation process. Although troubled by the closing of Douglass, Mr. Johnson worked with others to ensure a smooth transition for students and faculty, ensuring their success as well as meeting the mandate.

Mr. Johnson’s influence and tireless efforts extended well beyond his work day as he responded to the needs of the community by offering counseling services to parents, providing transportation to those in need and organizing a tutoring program at Barnett Chapel A.M.E Church. Always engaged with youth, he began the Young Man’s Mentoring Program (YMMP) which focused on young men and providing them skills and opportunities. Some of Mr. Johnson’s honors and awards include: The Oklahoma School Public Relations Association’s Partners in Excellence Award, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Youth Mentor Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity “Omega Citizen of the Year”, Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, the Black Beaver Council Boy Scouts of America Century Member, the Cameron Campus Ministry “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award”, the Lawton Campaign Leadership Award and the Oklahoma Taskforce on Minority Aging Betsy D. Smith Award. In 1991, Governor David Walters appointed Mr. Johnson to the State Board of Education. Serving in that capacity, he became an influential member of the Oklahoma Alcohol, Drug Abuse Prevention Committee and the Life Skills Education Advisory Committee.

Beyond his many awards he was a friend, mentor, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, teacher and disciplinarian, all bundled into one. Those that knew him well, knew him as a fierce competitor. He loved his experiences at the Lawton Municipal Golf Course and Lawton Country Club. His friendships with teachers, coaches and others were invaluable. On his way to Winston-Salem State University to play football and on his first day on campus, Mr. Johnson realized he was far more cut out to be a basketball player and did so for legendary coach, Big House Gains.  From his dorm room window, he observed a young man hitting golf balls and went down to introduce himself. Soon Mr. Johnson was a member of the Winston-Salem State golf team.  A skill of twirling a golf club drove him to serve as a drum major as well. But he found his calling in the classroom under the instruction of a faculty member at Winston Salem State Teachers college who he took every English class from during his undergraduate work. Mr. Johnson loved life and impacting others so that they might achieve their own success. In his bio Mr. Johnson listed “interests”: golf and people. Mr. Johnson has always been a leader; dependable, strong and steady, yet unassuming. He has changed countless lives, giving hope, opportunity and encouragement. He is a Lawtonian to be treasured.

Mr. Johnson is survived by his brother Emmett Johnson, Ruston, Louisiana; sister, Lucille Boutte, Lawton, Oklahoma, son, Albert Jr. (wife Tammy), granddaughter,  Stephanie Hammond-Johnson and great-granddaughters; Kaeli, Graycen and Cairo; grandson, Jason Johnson (wife, Myra) and great-grandson, Tyson; numerous nieces and nephews, countless friends that meant so much to him.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the “Albert and Josephine Johnson Endowed Lectureship in Social Change” at Cameron University.  Your gift can be mailed to the Cameron University Foundation, 2800 West Gore Boulevard, Lawton, Oklahoma 73505 or online  https://www.cameron.edu/foundation/ways-to-give .

In line with Mr. Johnson’s plan, his funeral service will be conducted at Douglass Auditorium. 

The date is to be determined since this facility is undergoing renovation.

Thank You, 

The Johnson Family

 

REFLECTION

An overview of My Involvement in Education and My Philosophy and Greatest Educational Challenge

By: Albert Johnson, Sr.

My professional education began in 1950 as a sixth-grade teacher in Lawton at Douglass, an all-black school. I was also the assistant football and basketball coach at the junior and senior high level. Along with my teaching and secondary coaching responsibilities, I coached in the city-wide recreational sports program. During the summer I worked with the YMCA day camp program as the director for African American students. Two evenings a week I opened the school for tutorial studies for elementary students in need of help in their studies. One evening a week, recreational activities were held for the students. I began to experience a most enjoyable and challenging “way of life”.

In the early fifties, I was selected by the Southern Education Foundation to attend Oklahoma University. The scholarship program, which was provided to select males with potential leadership abilities, was a part of the University of Oklahoma’s desegregation process.

In 1957 I was selected to serve as school counselor. My job target was to provide a guidance program for junior and senior high school students. Prior to the beginning of each school year, I conducted a transitional orientation program for students and their parents regarding scholastic expectations and responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of regular school attendance, academic performance, and appropriate conduct. Counseling sessions were held with students and their parents to assist students in selecting courses based upon their possible career choice.

In 1964 I was selected to serve as school principal at Douglass. My most interesting experiences were involving the graduating seniors in the actual design of their graduation rings, working with students to plan the school lunch menu and schedule student activities. A senior monitoring program was designed to assist students in the lower grade levels. Seniors also met with the assistant superintendent for instruction to plan and develop the school curriculum. We worked untiringly with colleges seeking work student assistance, scholarships, etc. to help finance students’ education. Those entering the military service understood there were educational opportunities and benefits available.

Many of the students who graduated from Douglass School are now successful educators in the school district. Some are practicing medicine and law, while others are a part of the labor force.

With the closing of Douglass School in compliance with the mandate of the Office of Civil Rights, I was assigned as assistant director of federal programs. My primary responsibility was to assist the superintendent of schools with the school district’s desegregation process. In addition, I worked with the Headstart Program, adult education program, and Neighborhood Youth Corp (NYC).  This became an exciting and challenging, but often times frustrating, experience.

When I was later selected as Director of Federal Programs, I had the opportunity to implement an adult education program in the Lawton community.

In 1968 I accepted the position of Director of Student Services. We worked with students with severe attendance, behavior, and academic difficulty. We also served as liaison between community agencies. A district clothing and food closet was established to help families in need. Each year, to this date, we provide a Christmas food basket for 50-75 needy families.

For the past six years, my assignment has been in the area of administrative services working under the supervision of the superintendent of schools. I have striven to ensure that all students and employees have a safe, healthy and orderly environment that is conducive to learning.

Social problems in our community lead me to assist in establishing a citizen’s task force for a drug-free community. Likewise, an interagency task force for gang-related activities was formed. Both task forces have been instrumental in improving our school environment. I am working with a black fraternal organization, Alpha Phi Alpha, in developing a mentoring program for African American Youth.

It is my privilege to chair the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Planning Committee, and the African American Heritage Month Committee and to bring the Lawton Fort Sill Community events highlighting the contributions of African Americans.

Philosophically, I believe education is an infinite experience afforded one informally and formally. I am a staunch proponent of the ideal that everyone — no matter what their race, economic or social background — should have the opportunity to strive to be the best they can be.

The greatest challenge has been and continues to be the desegregation/integration process. Our district became involved in this process with the closing of one black elementary school (Dunbar) and one black junior/senior high school (Douglass). This was a highly emotional and challenging experience. It was rewarding to see the public schools and the Lawton community working together to make this process successful.

I am very proud to be a part of Lawton Public Schools. I can boast, as few others administrators of large districts can, that I was educated in the system in which I have worked for the past 44 years. My background in this community gives me wonderful insight into the unique issues facing the Lawton community.

 


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