John G. Johnson
Community Mourns Passing of Johnson,
Longtime Public Servant and Tireless Advocate
for 9-1-1, Regional Transit
John G. Johnson, longtime public servant and passionate advocate for regional government, has died at the age of 68. Johnson served as Executive Director of the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) from July 2008 to December 2017. He first joined ACOG in 1990, after being elected Mayor of Midwest City. Shortly thereafter, he was named Chairman of the ACOG Board. In 1991, he was tapped to become Deputy Director of the organization, a post he held for more than 10 years.
Johnson is pictured above at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of ACOG, 2016
John G. Johnson, longtime public servant and passionate advocate for regional government, has died at the age of 68. Johnson served as Executive Director of the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) from July 2008 to December 2017.
Johnson first joined ACOG in 1990, after being elected Mayor of Midwest City. Shortly thereafter, he was named Chairman of the ACOG Board. In 1991, he was tapped to become Deputy Director of the organization, a post he held for more than 10 years.
In 2003, Johnson left ACOG to open Nichols Hills Golf Shop; however, he continued to serve as official outside legal counsel for the organization. In 2008, he returned to ACOG as Executive Director.
Johnson was born in Waurika, Oklahoma on October 2, 1949, and grew up in Del City, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Del City High School Graduating Class of 1967. He proudly served as parliamentarian his senior year.
In 1973, Johnson graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in zoology. He loved his years at OU, and especially enjoyed Greek Life. He often talked about his days at Rush Chair and the fun he had with his fraternity brothers.
After college, he attended law school at Oklahoma City University. In 1976, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree, and went on to practice law for more than four decades. He also served as a municipal judge for Del City and Midwest City for 10 years.
According to the Del City High School Hall of Fame, Johnson was active in his community. He was the 1981 chairman of the Young Lawyers Division of the Oklahoma Bar Association; a 1989 graduate of Leadership Midwest City; a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class IV; Central Oklahoma Regional Leadership Institute Class 1; a former member of the Midwest City Rotary Club and Rotary Club 29 in Oklahoma City. In 1997, he received the Rotary Governor’s Citation Award for the “Wings of Rotary” program.
Johnson also served for many years as a Boy Scout leader, and was a former District Chairman of the Big Tepee District, Last Frontier Council. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Midwest City, where he previously served as a youth sponsor and Chairman of the Board of Deacons. In 2004, he was inducted into the Del City High School Hall of Fame.
Professionally, he served as the Chairman of the Oklahoma Association of Regional Councils; was on the Board of Directors of the South West Regional Economic Development Association, and was a member of the Statewide 9-1-1 Board.
One of his favorite professional adventures was serving as an adjunct professor at the Rose State College, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma. He loved teaching and spending time with students. He was especially proud of his work in helping advance UCO’s Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
During his years of service to ACOG, he wore many hats. He was a tireless advocate for many programs and projects including the Rural Economic Action Plan known as REAP. He was considered one of the state’s primary brain trusts on 9-1-1, and was at the forefront of many advancements with 9-1-1 service over the years.
Johnson made many noteworthy contributions to regional government through the years, but none were more significant than his tireless work on regional transit. He led the charge in 2009, when ACOG spearheaded the Regional Transit Dialogue, which later culminated in identification of the Santa Fe Station as the Regional Hub, and also the Regional Transit Authority Task Force. His work with state legislators in his role as Executive Director of ACOG, ensured passage of legislation paramount to the establishment of regional transit authorities in the state.
Johnson will be remembered by his staff and colleagues for his brilliant legal mind, sense of humor, humility, kindness and generosity.
Johnson was laid to rest by his beloved family in Arlington Cemetery in Oklahoma City.