Obituary: Albert Johnson

Albert Johnson, of Wilkinsburg, passed away on Christmas Day, 2020 at age 89.

Albert was born on December 16, 1931 to Luther and Maudelena (Guess) Johnson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After graduation from Fifth Avenue High School, he matriculated to the University of Pittsburgh. There he participated in Army ROTC, joined Alpha Phi Alpha, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in business along with his Second Lieutenant commission in 1955.

He joined his father’s business, Johnson Studio, and in 1958 studied portraiture at the New York Institute of Photography.

He joined the Pittsburgh office of Opportunities Industrialization Center in 1967. In 1969, he joined Highmark Inc. (then Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania) as a training specialist, continuing for 19 years, and afterward consulted to clients including the Allegheny County Bar Association.

At the same time, he continued in the Army Reserve, culminating in promotion to Colonel in 1979. Notably, he served as Depot Commander of the 443rd Field Depot in 1983, then as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics of the 99th Army Reserve Command from 1984 until he retired in 1985.

In 2016, he accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his brother Robert, a Tuskegee Airman killed in action in 1944.

His community service included AARP, Boy Scouts of America, Emanons, Rankin Christian Center, Urban Youth Action, and Wilkinsburg’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

In 1960, Albert married Ann Walker at Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church. They celebrated fifty years of marriage. They joined Ebenezer Baptist Church, fellowshipping and worshipping God there until moving to First Baptist Church in Oakland. Albert was active on the Board of Deacons and the church choir; he and Ann extended their involvement, influence and care across many aspects of congregational life.

His parents, wife Ann, sisters Ruth (James Richey) and Edith (Charles Wilson), and brothers Robert, Luther (Jeanne), and William (Wanda, then Sammie) predeceased Albert. He is survived by sons Albert (Michele) and Eric, grandchildren Sarah (Joshua Bayer) and Albert III, great-grandchild Wolfgang Bayer, and a host of extended family and friends.

Interment will be in Allegheny Cemetery, January 23, 2021, at 11 o’clock a.m.

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