Dr. Charles Earl Memusi Johnson
Thetford, VT — March 18, 2021 - This was "the end of the day" for our father, Dr. Charles Earl Memusi Johnson. That's how he referred to passing from this life to return to the Ancient Home from whence we came.
Charles, after a fascinating, adventurous, and pioneering life full of singular accomplishments, passed away at age 87 in Vermont with his daughter, Christina, at his side.
Charles attended DuSable High School on the South Side of Chicago where he was born, and became the first in his family not only to complete college (Roosevelt University in Chicago), but also to earn a doctoral degree (University of Vienna). He lived in America, Europe, and Africa; and served in the Military Intelligence Corps, a branch of the United States Army, during the Cold War. Subsequently, while employed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency as an espionage agent, for which he worked during the JFK Administration. He was fluent in Russian and German, and became a notable German-language stage, film, and television actor while a student in Vienna. Later, he was a professor at Lovanium University in Congo-Léopoldville, and at Boston College, taught at the Harvard University Business School, was a Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Cincinnati, worked as a consultant for the global business advisory firm Arthur D. Little, and was appointed as the first African-American Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Charles later played a vital role consulting and assisting the State of Vermont Department of Education to promote its Safe Schools Initiative. Even at the age of 87, he still taught a course at Dartmouth College Osher Institute. Above all, Dr. Charles Earl Memusi Johnson was our Dad, a beacon in our lives, who, along with our Mom, Marianne Kaufmann Johnson (deceased), helped raise us and place us on a blessed trajectory that, in turn, was a continuation of the roles our grandparents played. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Lucius Johnson and Ellee Mitchell Johnson (daughter of Henry and Louisa Mitchell) and his wife Joan McNear Johnson. Charles is survived by five children, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. There is so much more to share about this man. He will be dearly missed, yet his memory will live through the stories and words people share.
Plans for a memorial service will be announced soon. The Rand-Wilson Funeral Home is assisting the family, an on line guest book can be found at rand-wilson.com