Back to Stories

Mildred Johnson’s Community Legacy

Photo: Mildred Johnson (right) with Asaline Scott (left), chair of the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Mildred Johnson “always thinks of others,” as her daughter Angela says, and we’d have to agree that is true! Mildred has left an indelible impact on so many in this community, directly and indirectly, through the organizations that she has served, and friendships she has made, always thinking of others.

Mildred taught at Muskegon Public Schools for over 30 years, where she started an annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program at Marquette School, urging the school board to recognize Dr. King Day, and honor it as a holiday. Mildred retired in 1994, but retirement didn’t slow her down. Because she loves education, she has been a tutor and test proctor for Muskegon and Muskegon Heights Public Schools, and worked with Hands on Science through the Muskegon Community College (MCC) WINGS program. Because she cares deeply for her community, Mildred served meals for God’s Kitchen, volunteers at the James Jackson African American Museum in Muskegon Heights, and is a member of the Coalition for Community Development, showing children how to plant gardens, make recipes and cook. She has assisted in the selection of families for Habitat for Humanity and worked with the Muskegon Heights Zoning Board of Appeals.

To continue to build educational opportunities, Mildred makes steady gifts to the Big Red Education Fund at the Community Foundation and has planned for a future gift from her estate that will create the Louis H. Sr. and Mildred B. Johnson Scholarship Fund.

Mildred is a lifetime member of the NAACP and attends New Bethel Baptist Evangelical Ministries, where she serves as a Trustee and Church Mother, sings in the Choir, teaches Sunday School, participates in the Hospital Ministry and organizes the youth program.

Her accolades are many. She is a recipient of the Muskegon Public Schools “Teacher of the Year” award, and the Muskegon Community College “Love In Action” award that honors the unsung heroes in our community. She received a Visiting Scholar Award with Western Michigan University, Certificate of Recognition-Distinguished Educator from the City of Muskegon Heights, and a Special Tribute-Valuable Contribution to African American History from the State of Michigan.  In 2018 she received a Woman of Accomplishment Award at the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club, and in January 2019, she was presented with the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Award at the annual Unity Day Breakfast.

Thank you, Mildred, for loving your community!