Adriel Johnson (AP Photo)
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Dr. Adriel Johnson, 52, was an associate biology professor working in cell biology and nutritional physiology research. But he didn't just teach college students.
For years, Johnson gave of his time to teach Madison County Boy Scouts about nature and science.
Johnson, who had two sons and volunteered with the First Missionary Baptist Church troop, was one of three professors shot and killed on UAH's campus Friday.
Before his death, he had won the Boy Scout district award of merit, the Whitney Young Award for exceptional work with urban and rural Scouts, and the Silver Beaver, the highest award a volunteer Scout leader can receive.
"Adriel had an exceptional ability to work with youth," said Bill McCoy, who is on the Scouts' district committee for advancement. "He was dedicated to the Scouts of Madison County, and his passing is a tremendous loss to all of them."
Johnson also was the director for the UAH chapter of the Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.
Dr. Lewis Radonovich, a UAH vice president and former provost, praised Johnson for his support of African-American students seeking graduate degrees in science, engineering and math.
Dr. Jack Fix, dean of the UAH College of Science, called him "a good university citizen" who was willing to work with students from any major to prepare for higher degrees in health care, dental school or medical school.
Phil Gentry, who worked in UAH public relations and assisted the Biology Department for 20 years, first got to know Johnson when the two prepared promotional materials on minority programs in counseling and tutoring.
"Adriel was very even-keeled," Gentry said. "I don't guess I ever saw him angry. He was always upbeat, always going out of his way to shake your hand, greet you, share stories about his family."
Visitation: Thursday at Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 315 Winchester Road
Funeral: 11 a.m. Friday at the church
Editorial obituary by Patricia C. McCarter published in The Huntsville Times on February 14, 2010, and reprinted with permission.
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