Barbara E. Johnson, who served three consecutive terms as a Clarksville City Council member from 1999 until 2010, died Aug. 3 at 85.
Johnson, who represented Ward 1, was chosen to serve as mayor pro tem in 2007 and 2008. She also served on several of the council’s standing committees, including as chairwoman of the public safety and transportation committees.
Barbara E. Johnson Park, a 10-acre recreation area on Outlaw Field Road, was dedicated in her honor in 2010 as a tribute to her long service to the community and council.
“Barbara was a true public servant, who was dedicated to the community and her Ward 1 constituents,” said Mayor Joe Pitts. “In a word, Barbara Johnson was charming. She was effervescent and always bright and cheerful.”
As a longtime member of the Clarksville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Johnson provided leadership and served as president and secretary of the branch. For years, the group conducted the annual Barbara E. Johnson Unity Breakfast as one of its key events.
“She was a pillar of this community – a pillar of knowledge and inspiration for the people,” said Jimmy Garland, president of the Clarksville Branch of the NAACP. “She fought for civil rights and represented us well as stateswoman.”
Former Mayor John E. Piper, who was mayor for much of Johnson’s time on the council, recalled her as “a very special person.”
“She was a wonderful lady and a pleasure to work with. I proudly appointed her as mayor pro tem for two years,” Piper said. “Barbara truly had the best interest of Clarksville in her heart.”
Johnson was an active member of Concord Missionary Baptist Church. She also worked diligently as a member of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the president’s advisory council at Austin Peay State University. She retired after 17 years with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
She is survived by three children, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Foston Funeral Home is the mortuary in charge of arrangements.