'EAD DALLAS JOHNSON READ Dallas Johnson Read, a professional writer and editor who headed a national group to promote careers in the medical laboratory, as well as serving as a community activist in her Chevy Chase community, died January 12 at her home of natural causes. She celebrated her 100th birthday last September. Known professionally as Dallas Johnson, she was a pioneer in providing opportunities for women who could work several hours a day two or three days a week when their children were in school. From 1954 to 1974, Ms. Johnson served as executive secretary of the National Committee for Careers in Medical Technology. During that period, she obtained funds for recruitment, education and scholarship projects, developed films on medical laboratory careers, and led efforts to develop retraining programs for laboratory personnel in small town and rural hospitals. In 1968, eight of the women working with Ms. Johnson incorporated Information Services, Inc., a women-owned business concentrating on communications for public and private organizations. A few years later, Ms. Johnson and the others started a companion group, Health and Education Resources, a nonprofit educational organization to develop programs and materials in health manpower education and related subjects. When the Montgomery County Council was considering the Purple Line of the Metro, with tracks going on the former C&O tracks at the back of her yard and through a pristine valley, Ms. Johnson actively opposed the project, appearing before the Council on many occasions. Helen Dallas was born in Coalinga, California, the daughter of Roderick and Lyda Dallas. She received a B.A. from Occidental College and an M.S. from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her earlier positions included director of publications for the Institute for Consumer Education in Columbia, MO; feature writer on the New York Times; reporter for the San Francisco Examiner; education director and author for Public Affairs Committee and director of information at the National Cancer Institute. In 1951 she married Nicholas Cabell Read, a Washington film-maker, and inherited three children: Nash Read, Rebecca Medrano, and the late Jenny Read. When Jenny was murdered in her San Francisco art studio in 1976, Ms. Johnson pulled together Jenny's diary with her own accompanying narrative in a book "Jenny Read: In Pursuit of Art and Life," published in 1982. In 2005, she published a book co-authored with her husband, who died in 1998, as a chronicle of the Read family going back to the American Revolution, called "Deep Family: Four Centuries of American Originals and Southern Eccentrics." Surviving are Nash Read of Montreal and Rebecca Medrano of Washington, DC; six grandsons- Octavio Medrano, Juan Gabriel Medrano, Alexis Medrano, Ben Read, Jessie Read, and Nick Read; and four great-grandchildren-Gia Valentina Medrano, Preston Vlad Medrano, Abigail Read, and Beatrice Read. Services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be sent to GALA Hispanic Theatre, P0 Box 43209, Washington, DC 20010.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Washington Post on January 16, 2013