Stillwater News Press

May 23, 2013

Edward R. “Ed” Johnson


Stillwater NewsPress

— Edward R. “Ed” Johnson, 72, died on April 25, 2013.  He is survived by his spouse Benita, of Angel Fire, N.M.; his son Elliot and wife Lisa, of Austin, Texas; and his brother Michael Sennett, of Denver, Colo.  Ed and Benita lived in Angel Fire, N.M. In Angel Fire, Ed was on the Board of the Shuter Library and on the Governing Council of the Moreno Valley High School.

Ed was a native of Denver, Colo., and graduated from the University of Colorado. He held an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Ed’s distinguished career as an academic library administrator took him and Benita to five universities: University of Colorado, University of Iowa, Pennsylvania State University, University of North Texas, and Oklahoma State University.  Before his retirement from OSU after 17 years, Ed held the positions of Doris Neustadt Professor and Dean of Libraries. During his 40-year career Ed published several journal articles and two books. He was active in the Texas Library Association, where he was a member of the Executive Board and the Oklahoma Library Association, which he served as President. OLA honored Ed as a “Library Legend,” one of 100 people so recognized by the association during the state’s centennial celebrations. OLA also awarded him its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2004. In 1996 he was recognized as Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Since childhood Ed loved the mountains and “couldn’t wait” to retire to New Mexico. He will be remembered particularly for his passionate love of fishing, especially fly fishing. Retirement to New Mexico gave Ed the opportunity to explore his interest in southwest history and archeology. Benita will be moving to Austin to be closer to her son and his wife. Ed particularly enjoyed his collection of Hopi Kachinas. He also was a big fan of collegiate football and always rooted for the teams of the universities he had served, especially Penn State. Ed loved dogs and he and Benita rescued several over the years.

A memorial service will be held at the Bennett Chapel of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Edward R. Johnson Library Endowment, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University.