Richard M. Johnson, age 72, of Milford, passed away at home, surrounded by his family, on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Richard was born on July 16, 1940, in Milford, son of the late Richard Y. and Naomi (Adkins) Johnson.
He was raised in Lincoln, and graduated from Milford High School with the Class of 1958 as their Salutatorian. Richard continued his education at the University of Delaware, was a member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, and graduated in 1964 with a degree in Civil Engineering.
After graduation, he worked with his father’s company, Richard Y. Johnson Co until 1965 when he joined the Navy Sea Bees as a Chief Petty Officer, stationed in the Antarctic with the United States Antarctic Research Program. During this period, he was involved in the construction of the personnel building at McMurdo Sound, which contained 600,000 square feet of floor space.
In 1970, he returned to Lincoln and took over Richard Y. Johnson Company as Vice President. It was then that the business became Richard Y. Johnson & Son. The company eventually grew from building houses to building commercial projects, especially proud of their work on the renovations of the State Capitol, the Governor’s Office, and the State Armory, to name a few. Also, to their credit through the years was the construction of numerous libraries, schools, churches, firehouses and State buildings, each designed and completed with Richard’s expertise and caring as if it were his own.
As his success grew, he began to give back to his community, Richard’s generosity and support of his local home towns of Milford and Lincoln were evident throughout his life. He installed and donated the score board for Milford High School Briggs Stadium, donated the high school pirate ship and provided the moneys for the projects completion, and took great pride in the construction of the Evelyn I. Morris Elementary School in Lincoln. He also supported the Milford Little League and Pop Warner Football, being instrumental in the construction of the Pop Warner Building.
Mr. Johnson was a long time member of the Board of Directors for the Milford Boys and Girls Club. He assisted in obtaining funds for too many projects to name and worked diligently to raise money for the club. His leadership and support was so instrumental that the Aquatic Center was named in his honor, “Richard M. Johnson Aquatic Center.” He also assisted the Seaford Boys and Girls Club in obtaining monies for their new building.
He served on the Milford Public Library Board of Directors since 1997, serving as President since 2000. Richard was the Chairman of the Capitol Campaign for the library expansion, raising over 4 million dollars in 12 months. Construction began under his direction and was completed in 2010 giving Milford a state of the art facility for its community. Richard was honored for his efforts by having the library amphitheater and portico named after him. He also worked to establish an endowment fund for the Library’s future needs.
Page 2 of 2 - Richard was a past member of the Carlisle Fire Company in Milford, a past member of the Milford City Council, a past member of the Milford Lions Club, and was a member of the Reformation Lutheran Church in Milford.
He supported local political races, Milford Hospice, the Milford Museum and was a devoted sponsor of the Milford Hospital Auxiliary Annual Hospital Fair.
Mr. Johnson was a deserving recipient in 2010 of the Positive Growth Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award given to an individual who has achieved notable improvements in the quality of life for themselves, their families, and the community.
Over the last several years, Richard and his wife Donna, have enjoyed extensive travel abroad and in the US but his favorite destinations were his homes in Milford and Florida, spending time with his family, friends, grandchildren, and his beloved canine companions, George and Grace.
Richard has spent a lifetime giving unselfishly of his time, talents, and resources to lend a helping hand in any way possible to many worthwhile projects or to someone in need. He will be greatly missed by his community as a true role model.
He is survived by his loving wife of 8 years, Donna Kimmey Johnson; two sons, Mark Johnson and his wife Aixa and Dean Y. Johnson, all of Lincoln; two step-sons, Christopher Kimmey and his wife Shelley of Milford; and Matthew Kimmey of Bel Air, MD; and his grandchildren, Vanessa Johnson, Chase Patrick Kimmey, Sydney Kimmey and Bailee Kimmey.
Friends may call from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Reformation Lutheran Church, 613 Lakeview Ave, Milford.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the church.
Entombment will follow the services in the Milford Community Cemetery on Route 113.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions to the Reformation Lutheran Church, 613 Lakeview Ave, Milford, DE, 19963 or to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE, 19963.
Condolences may be emailed at www.delmarvaobits.com/rogers.
Arrangements handled by Rogers Funeral Home, Milford.