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Memorial service is May 13 for former history professor Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Elizabeth Johnson, 90, of Norfolk, associate professor emerita of history at Old Dominion University, died May 5, 2010. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 7400 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, by the Rev. Robert Davenport.

Born in Minneapolis, Johnson earned a bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and a master's in history from the University of Minnesota. She then became a civilian historian for the Alaskan Division of the Air Transport Command headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

After her return to the United States, she joined the faculty of what is now the Minnesota State University in Moorehead. After 10 years there, she moved to Cleveland, where she worked in the public library system while she completed requirements for her Ph.D. in American history at Case Western Reserve University.

In 1961, she joined the Old Dominion history department, where her specialty was the social history of the United States. When she introduced a course in Women in American History, it became the first subject to be taught at ODU in the field of women's studies. She later became a member of the committee that developed the women's studies program.

She was an active participant in faculty affairs. She served three terms as president of the ODU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, two years as president of the Virginia Conference, AAUP, and three years of the National Council. She also served as chair of various state committees and for an extensive period on the state council.

At ODU, Johnson served a term as chair of the Faculty Caucus. She was a member of the Presidential Search Committee in 1975-76, and served as a faculty representative of the Board of Visitors. During her career, she was a member of the American Historical Association and the American Studies Association. She was also a life member of the Organization of American Historians. She retired from ODU in 1986. She then became a volunteer worker for Norfolk Urban Outreach Ministries for many years.

She also served for several years as an assistant driver for Lee's Friends, and was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Always interested in other countries, she traveled extensively. She was preceded in death by her parents and her two sisters, as well as one grandniece. Her survivors include two nieces, Dottie McLeod and Janice Charles, and two nephews, Dean Miles and Robert McClary.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 7400 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23505. Arrangements are under the care of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel. Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com.

This article was posted on: May 12, 2010

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