Johnson, Morris F. III
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64, passed away on November 18, 2013 in San Antonio Texas, after a courageous struggle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly know as Lou Gehrig's disease. Morris was born December 9, 1948 in Jersey City, New Jersey, the beloved son of Morris F. and Willie Mae (Hodge) Johnson. Morris attended the public schools of Jersey City, graduating from Snyder High School. He received a BA in Sociology from Dubuque College, Dubuque, Iowa and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Morris was a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and was fondly known as Billy D. Hollywood because of his style and resemblance to actor Billy D. Williams. Morris loved life and lived life. He was fun loving and had a circle of friends who shared his love and optimism of life. He was devoted to the education and development of young people and equally dedicated to the National Council on Black American Affairs and the American Association of Community Colleges. He traveled internationally most notably in China and the Caribbean. Morris served as President of St. Louis Community College, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Student Affairs and Interim President at Phoenix College, Phoenix Arizona; and Associate Dean of Student Services at the DesMoines Area Community College, Urban Campus. While in Iowa and Arizona he served on various State Commissions and local boards and was active in the community. He attended church faithfully, at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa; First Institutional Baptist Church, Phoenix, Arizona; and Central Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri. He leaves behind a son Grant Harrison of Phoenix, Arizona and stepdaughter Tausha Robertson of Austin, Texas; four sisters Karen Johnson, Elisa Johnson, Winifred Johnson Mitchell, and Olivia Johnson; nephew Darren Leon James II; great aunt Edythe Jackson and a host of extended family members and friends. A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 6, 2013, 11:00 a.m., at First Institutional Baptist Church, 1141 East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034. You may share your memories of Morris online at: www.forevermissed.com/morris-f-johnson/. The family thanks the medical team of the ALS Clinic at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and the staff of the Texas ALS Association for the wonderful compassionate care they provided during his fight with ALS. Memorials may be directed to the ALS Association http:/www.alsa.org/donate/.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2013