Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR1090
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Full Text of SR1090  96th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3learn of the death of Dr. Robert L. Johnson, Sr. of Chicago;
5    WHEREAS, Dr. Robert Johnson was born in Helena, Arkansas on
6July 27, 1930; he was one of five children born to Joe Johnson,
7Sr. and Catherine Chatman Johnson; he attended Helena schools
8and graduated from Eliza Miller High School in Helena,
9Arkansas; and
10    WHEREAS, His love of learning and football led him to
11attend Xavier University on a football scholarship where he met
12his soul-mate, Mercedes Sylvest, who would later become his
13wife and mother of their five daughters and one son; and
14    WHEREAS, Dr. Johnson received his Master of Science degree
15from the University of Chicago in 1954, and later graduated
16from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1960; in 1959, he
17co-founded Plano Child Development Center and as President of
18Plano, thousands of families have seen remarkable improvements
19in school achievement and behavior through low-cost and
20sometimes free vision health education, vision exams, and
21vision therapy; and



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1    WHEREAS, As a community activist, Dr. Johnson helped to
2elect Mayor Harold Washington the first African-American mayor
3of Chicago, and his childhood friend, President John H.
4Stroger, Jr. the first African-American president of the Cook
5County Board of Commissioners, along with other local
6politicians; and
7    WHEREAS, In the 1970s, he organized Vision Health
8Management Systems Inc., a vision Preferred Provider
9Organization (PPO) in Chicago, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and
10Atlanta, serving thousands of employees in city, county, and
11State governments; and
12    WHEREAS, He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,
13Inc., the Optometric Extension Program (OEP), the Illinois
14Optometric Association (IOA), the American Optometric
15Association (AOA), the National Optometric Association (NOA),
16and the College of Vision Development (COVD); and
17    WHEREAS, Because of his expertise in the area of vision, he
18served as a consultant to the Woodlawn Experimental School
19Project and the Chicago Board of Education Area A School Mental
20Health Project to Advance Creativity in Education; he served as
21a consultant for "Project Healthy" which evaluated the
22effectiveness of the Headstart Program; he served as a
23consultant for the U.S. Postal Service to establish vision



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1standards of certain job categories; and he was the first
2African-American to receive a fellowship in the College of
3Vision Development (COVD); and
4    WHEREAS, He organized an associate degree program for
5training of optometric technicians that graduated some of the
6first minority technicians in the field; and
7    WHEREAS, Dr. Johnson was a faithful member of Mt. Calvary
8Missionary Baptist Church, located on Chicago's Southside,
9where he served many years as Chairman of the Trustee Board
10until his death; and
11    WHEREAS, Because of his unselfish contributions to
12individuals and groups in all walks of life, he received many
13accolades from professional, civic, educational, and religious
14organizations; and
15    WHEREAS, Dr. Robert L. Johnson was preceded in death by his
16daughter Carol (husband, Larry) Fitzgerald; and
17    WHEREAS, The passing of Dr. Robert L. Johnson will be felt
18by all who knew and loved him, especially his wife of 58 years,
19Mercedes; his children, Valerie (husband, Norman, Sr.) Thomas;
20Stephanie (husband, Perry) Brown; Robert, Jr.; Kimberly
21(husband, Byron) Henry; and Paula (husband, Samuel II) Jones;



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1he also leaves ten grandchildren to mourn his passing, Larry
2Jr., Crystal, Marcus, Samuel III, Robert, Candice, Norman,
3Jasmine, Gabrielle, and Kyle; and two great-grandchildren,
4Devin and Jaylen; his siblings, Joerean (husband, Walter,
5deceased) Mills; Samuel (wife, Susie, deceased) Johnson; Joe L.
6Johnson; and Doris Kennebrew; and many other relatives and
7special friends; therefore, be it
9ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with
10his family and friends, the passing of Robert L. Johnson, Sr.;
11and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
13presented to the family of Dr. Robert L. Johnson, Sr., as a
14symbol of our sincere sympathy.