IN MEMORIAM: DR. NORRIS JOHNSON, M.D. '77

IN MEMORIAM: DR. NORRIS JOHNSON, M.D. '77

Dr. Norris Johnson, M.D. '77, was born on February 17, 1938 to Roosevelt and Fannie Downs Johnson of Lancaster County, Virginia. 

Dr. Johnson accepted Jesus Christ early in his life. He was baptized at Nottoway Baptist Church and remained a faithful member there until hemoved to Petersburg. In Petersburg, he joined the First Baptist Church-Harrison Street and later moved his membership to Gillfield Baptist Church having served as a member of the Trustee Ministry and the Health Ministry until his health failed.

He began his education in the Nottoway County School System graduating from Luther Foster High School in 1954 as Salutatorian of his class. In 1958, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture from Virginia State College (now University). Norris was a very active member of Virginia State’s ROTC program and was commissioned by the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. He was on active duty from December 4, 1958 to June 4, 1959. He was appointed as a Reserve Commissioned Officer and served as a Captain from 1958 to 1979.

In 1967, Norris pursued a Master of Science Degree in Biology through the National Science Program, at Virginia State College from which he graduated in 1968. In 1972, he enrolled in the Ph.D Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Department of Anatomy. However, in 1975 his interest changed and he enrolled in the Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. where he took the Doctor of Medicine degree in May 1977. He did his internship and residency in Family Practice, at VCU/MCV Division of Health Science, The Department of Family Practice at Chippenham Hospital and The Chesterfield FamilyPractice Center.

Dr. Johnson was an advocate for education. Many years were spent teaching. He will be remembered for his dedicated service teaching inNottoway, VA at Luther H. Foster High School; Prince Edward CountyFree School, Farmville, VA; Chesterfield County Public Schools,Chesterfield, VA; and Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA. He served for three years at Virginia State University as the Director of the Student Health Services and as the school’s Physician,concurrently establishing a private practice and founding the Ettrick Medical Center in Ettrick, Virginia. He served the Ettrick, Petersburg and surrounding areas until he became ill in 1999.

Dr. Johnson was very active in social, civic, and professional organizations to include: The American Medical Association; The Virginia Medical Society; The Richmond Academy of Medicine and The Richmond Medical Society. He was a past president of the Old Dominion Medical Society (the state-wide professional organization for Black physicians); a Past Basileus of the Delta Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Johnson was the founding president of The Alexander Medical Society (Tri-City Black Doctors). He was a Boy Scout Leader; an organizer of the CAPAAMAAD; a Member of Beaux-Twenty Club; a supporter of the Ettrick Youth Association; a member of the Richmond Guardsmen, Inc.; a Life Member of The NAACP and a former member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated (Alpha Beta Boule).

Dr. Johnson gave of his time, service, and money to strengthen the community and was recognized for his generosity. He received many awards including: Omega Man of the Year 1958 and 1988; Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Nu Psi Chapter- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.1987; Minority Access to Research Award 1972; National Science Foundation Academic Year Award 1967; Virginia State University Certificate of Merit 1992; Chesterfield Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae Chapter Award - Black Male Role Model 1994; Petersburg Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae Chapter Award for Community Leadership 1995; Kiwanis Club of Petersburg Certificate of Appreciation for presentation on Aids-HIV Virus 1992; Boy Scouts of America- Crater District Scoutmaster’s Right Way Citation 1983; Matoaca High School Certificate of Appreciation for Cooperative Education 1982;Chesterfield Public Health Department Certification of Appreciation-Public/Private Corporation to increase the immunization rate among children living in the Tri-Cities area; Who’s Who Among Successful African Americans; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for Citizenship 1995; Petersburg Public Schools Star of Excellence Award 2000.

He enjoyed fishing, playing cards, playing golf, watching footballgames (especially the Redskins), listening to music, reading, spending time with family and friends and helping others. These aspects of his life were very important.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father, William Clack,Sr.; daughter, Brenda Juacita; grandson, James Bryant; grandparents;all of his aunts and uncles and a number other relatives and friends. Dr. Johnson leaves to cherish his precious memory: his devoted wife of 55 years, Carrie Willis Johnson; a son, Norris Dwayne

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