Imogene Johnson

Imogene Johnson, a life of distinguished service to the blindness community in Arkansas and across the nation

July 4, 1926 – April 24, 2016

Born July 4, 1926, to Aida and Exie (Harville) Johnson in London, Kentucky. She went to school in London Public School grades 1-6 then due to failing eyesight she attended a private school attached to the local teachers college.

The family lived in San Diego when she attended the 11th grade but came back to Hot Springs (Arkansas) where she graduated from high school. For two years she could not get a job but the Division of Services for the Blind helped her and she went to work in the radiology file processing department for UAMS (University of Arkansas Medical Sciences); a job she held for 42 years.

Imogene and her mother traveled extensively in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria among other places such as Hawaii. She made two trips to Washington D.C. and visited the White House with a VIP group.

In 1989 she attended the “Ski For Light” competition in Traverse City, Michigan, where the Norwegians used bells for guidance while others used marked trails.

Her hobby was genealogy.

She attended a number of ACB national conventions and every Arkansas Council of the Blind state conventions except 2. Serving as President of the Arkansas Chapter from 1993 until 1998.

An extremely rare cornea defect in both eyes took most of her sight along with myopia, nostagmus and astigmatism. She had eye surgery for drooping eyelids and cataracts.

In 2009 Imogene was presented with a President’s Award for her many hours of service to the Arkansas Chapter.

April 23, 2016, Imogene was presented with an Ambassador’s Award by the Arkansas Chapter. One of Imogene’s favorite people, the youngest chapter member, Loriann Rettstatt (age 7) recited from memory the wording; “Ambassador Award presented to Imogene Johnson April 23, 2016 to honor and thank her for a life of distinguished service to the blindness community in Arkansas and across our nation.”

Imogene smiled and held the plaque, thanking Loriann.

Imogene passed away the next morning.

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ACB Angel Memorial Tribute - Imogene Johnson