Gen. Roger Barton Johnson, former executive administrative assistant
to University of Southern Mississippi presidents Dr. William D.
McCain and Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, died Wednesday at his residence
in Hattiesburg. He was 86.
is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23 from 5-8 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead
Funeral Home in Hattiesburg, with services set for 2 p.m. Saturday
at First Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.
be at Highland Cemetery in Hattiesburg.
A native of
Amory, Johnson was a highly decorated veteran of the U.S. Army,
serving in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War
II as an executive officer with the 143rd Anti-Aircraft Battalion.
Among many other citations for his military service, Johnson was
awarded the Purple Heart and in 1951 received the Mississippi Magnolia
his bachelor's and master's degrees from Mississippi State University,
where he participated in the university's ROTC program. In addition
to his military career, he also worked as a teacher and school principal.
He came to Southern Miss in1956 when the university was known as
Mississippi Southern College.
Miss, his duties included assisting in the oversight of property
acquisition for the expansion of the university, and in the school's
transition from college to university status. He was also instrumental
in the formation of the Southern Miss School of Nursing, the DuBard
School for Language Disorders and for the establishment of the University
Libraries' de Grummond Collection. He retired from Southern Miss
indebted to Gen. Johnson for his years of tireless service to Southern
Miss, and for his work to transform our university into a leader
among the nation's institutions of higher learning," said Southern
Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames.
Miss President Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas also praised Johnson's role as
"a key leader in the building of Southern Miss into a comprehensive
Johnson was a loyal and wise executive assistant to two USM presidents,
both of whom appreciated his superb ability to solve the many problems
which came to the president's office, to supervise the construction
of facilities, to coordinate public information, alumni relations,
development, financial aid, computing, and data processing as well
as other university functions which were assigned to him,"
said Dr. Lucas. "We shall miss him as a colleague and a friend."
his wife, Hattie Mae Johnson; four sons, Roger B. Johnson Jr. of
Lock Haven, Pa., Stephen F. Johnson of New Castle, Del., Thomas
Johnson of Brussels, Belgium and Burney P. Johnson of Birmingham,
Ala.; a daughter, Memrie Kelly of New York, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren
and one great-grandchild.
School has lost a great friend in Gen. Roger Johnson," said
Dr. Maureen Martin, director of the DuBard School. "He was
instrumental in the planning and development of the Speech and Hearing
Building and remained interested in and supportive of our services
to children and their families long into his retirement. We will
always remember with much gratitude the numerous ways he encouraged
and helped Etoile DuBard (former director and DuBard School founder)
and all of us over many years."
In lieu of
flowers, memorials may be designated for the DuBard School for Language
Disorders at Southern Miss through the USM Foundation, 118 College
Drive, Box 10026, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001.