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Richard Johnson


1925 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Richard Johnson Obituary
icon Richard Lee Johnson lived fully until his death April 8 from congestive heart failure and end stage renal disease. He was born May 11, 1925 in Chicago, with his identical twin brother, Everett, who predeceased him on May 15, 2005. After graduating from Carl Schurz High School, he attended Northwestern University for one quarter before being drafted into the U.S. Army on December 1, 1943 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He was honorably discharged in 1944 from the 100th Infantry Division and returned to Northwestern, graduating in 1947 (B. S., zoology). After a year in the insurance industry, he entered the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1950 (M.B.A. with health care concentration), then completed his health care administrative residency at Norwegian American Hospital. In June, 1950 he joined the University of Chicago as assistant superintendent of hospitals, associate director of the graduate program in health administration, and assistant professor in the School of Business. Five year later he was appointed director of hospitals and associate professor in the school of medicine at the University of Missouri (Columbia). Richard then returned to Chicago as associate director with the American Hospital Association. In 1965 he joined the A.T. Kearney and Company consulting firm, and established its first health care division as vice president of healthcare activities. He created the TriBrook Group, Inc., a private health care consulting firm, in 1972, where he remained until his retirement in March, 1996. During this time he served as health advisor to the U.S. Air Force and in national health care professional associations. Throughout his lengthy career he published more than 120 professional articles and eight books on health care management, future trends and policy solutions. He believed a professional had a responsibility to share knowledge and experience with others to advance health care management and quality of care, actively mentoring young professionals and interns with his pragmatic optimism and humor. In 1984 he was recognized, as a Fellow, with the Silver Medal Award for outstanding contribution to the health care field by the American College of Healthcare Administrators. Richard was imaginative, provocative, funny, energetic and a devoted Cubs fan. He loved and coached baseball, and proudly won his Chicago 16 inch ball club's batting championship, at age 59. He loved Northwestern football, organizing friends and family for home games every season--for 49 years, on the 50 yard line. He played tennis doubles and was an ace left-handed bowler until age 81. Richard laughed and lived broadly, on the tennis court, in a chess game, and certainly with his beloved wife Sandra and their 150 pound bull-mastiff, Winston. Telling jokes, reading voraciously, traveling in every state and 45 countries, and celebrating the success of his friends and family were among his favorite activities. Ever a Chicagoan, Richard celebrated the city's great orchestra, theatre, educational institutions, and his beloved teams at every opportunity. His final days were graced by Wrigley Field's centennial and the Cubs big win against the Phillies. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Gill, daughters Lisa (McNulty) and Suzanne (Small), son Blair, six grandchildren and one great grandson. His memorial will be conducted Monday, May 5 at Grace Episcopal Church, 120 1st Street, Hinsdale, Illinois 60521 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider the Foundation of The American College of Healthcare Executives Innovation Fund, Chicago, Illinois, or Advocate Charitable Foundation, Park Ridge, Illinois.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Apr. 13, 2014
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