Attorney Ronald Lee Johnson, son of the late Delbert Johnson and the late Emma Lee Pickens was born May 26, 1948 in Ardmore, OK. Isolated in the ICU of Mercy hospital in Oklahoma City, he went towards the light on August 19, 2020 in the video presence of his sister, Shelia Hooks. A private interment of his ashes will be held on Sunday, August 30, 2020, 1:00 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. At a date to be announced, a celebration of Ronald Lee Johnson’s life will take place in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Always precocious and bright, Ronald graduated as salutatorian of the 1966 class of Ardmore Douglass High School. He attended and graduated from East Central College with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and later attained a master's degree from Oklahoma State University. He taught Sociology at East Central, worked as an alcoholic's counselor at Southern Oklahoma Mental Health Services and worked at Neighborhood Services Organization as a community activist in Oklahoma City. He returned to school at Oklahoma City University, School of Law and received his Juris Doctorate in 1977.
Ronald went into private practice with Nathaniel Gigger and after a few years went into public service as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma. He was hand-picked to be the second person appointed as Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission for the state of Oklahoma. He enjoyed his position of proactively advancing the cause of civil rights for the equal benefit of all Oklahomans. After several years in that position he returned to private practice until health issues forced his retirement. Ronald served the legal profession for 29 years as a representative of clients and as a public official having special responsibility for the quality of justice.
Early in his life, he confessed a hope in Christ and united with Mt. Zion Baptist Church. When he relocated to Oklahoma City, he joined Tabitha Baptist Church. After his marriage to Connie he moved his membership to Tabernacle Baptist Church. During his lifetime, Ron faced many obstacles including losing his eyesight, occasional bouts with depression and finally was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer four weeks before his death. He faced his foes with faith, hope and grace. Foremost was his faith, with his favorite bible passage being Psalms 91.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, three sisters and two nephews: Orville Earl Woodley, Saundra Love, Roza Taylor, Wilhelmenia “Dottie” Finley, nephews, Ronald “Little Ronnie” Francis and William Earl Woodley. He is survived by Stepmothers, Hildred Benson and Veryl Epps. Sisters, Nover Roberts (Carl), Willette Sharif, Elaine Carr (Terri), Shelia Hooks (Ralph), Jacqueline Flenory (Johnny) and brother John Johnson. In addition to his niece/daughter, Kimberly White he is survived by several nieces and nephews and numerous cousins, particularly special cousins; Al Johnson (Mary), Charles Johnson, Ricky Howard, Van Howard (Charlotte) Sue Jenkins (Lionel), Bulena Upchurch, Lynnetta Pickens. Melba Holt and close friend/sister Dorscine Spigner Littles, James Black, Nathaniel Gigger, John Pugh, Lionel Woodyard, Ambassador Dudley McKinley Thomas, Liberian Ambassador to China, and all who are blessed to have known him.
Ron left an indelible impression on everyone he met because he was audacious, smart, quick-witted, unintimidated, kind, loyal, funny, passionate and generous. Ronald Lee fiercely loved his family and friends and he will be fiercely missed.
Sympathy message to the family may be placed on the memorial page of Griffin Hillcrest Funeral Home (Ardmore, OK) or pay tribute by making a contribution in his name to the Black Student Alumni Association of East Central University by tapping onto the donation button of the following website. (eastcentraluniversitybaa.org)
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