Oswald Herbert Johnson was born on April 21, 1929 in Front Royal, Virginia, the eighth of Edward and Havanna Johnson’s eleven children. Oswald’s large family included Hilda, Harold, Raye, Everett, Elizabeth, Audra, Linwood, Oswald, Adele, Gloria and Billy. Oswald is survived by his sister, Gloria Dyer, of Syracuse, New York and a host of nieces and nephews.
Oswald was a member of the varsity football team at The Manassas Industrial School, Regional High School of Northern Virginia, receiving his diploma in 1948. He attended Virginia State University where he pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and later earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 1952. Shortly thereafter, he was commissioned to serve as a lieutenant in the United States Army. Oswald spent much of his military time overseas in a transportation battalion and was honorably discharged from active duty in 1954 and from the US Army Reserves in 1960.
Oswald devoted many years as a DC Public Schools teacher, much of that time at Chamberlain High School in Southeast Washington, DC. While still a DC Public Schools instructor, Oswald attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Master’s Degree in 1976. His thesis was titled “A Study to Determine the Effectiveness of Teaching Reading to a Selected Group of Students in the Educational Laboratory at Chamberlain Vocational High School in Washington, DC.”
In addition to being a veteran and educator, Oswald was an avid artist. He decorated his home with several unique canvas paintings. For many years, his living room wall on Hanna Place was adorned with a single, large illustration of his artistic talent.
Oswald will always be remembered for his zest for life, his ability to connect with people, and his undying sense of humor.