NGU News

Dean Emeritus Dr. Ralph Johnson Passes Away

Posted on: February 3, 2021
By LaVerne Howell,

Ralph JohnsonTigerville, SC (June 9, 2020) The North Greenville University (NGU) College of Wellness and Sport Professions and Sport Management Professor Dr. Ralph Johnson passed away on Monday, June 8. In an email to the NGU community, Senior Campus Pastor and Chief Spiritual Formation Officer Dr. Steve Crouse expressed his condolences to Johnson’s wife, Jane, and his family.

“Dr. Johnson has left an incredible legacy in the lives of his students and colleagues. For so many, he was not merely a professor but a second father and mentor,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “His desire for the professional training of his students was exceeded only by his desire to see them grow spiritually. He will be deeply missed and often spoken of.”

Johnson served NGU with great distinction for 23 years as Dean of the College of Business and Sport Professions.

“He mentored and cared for the students, faculty, and staff at NGU, and he was loved and appreciated by everyone who knew him,” said Dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dr. John Duncan.

Duncan says that Johnson created a sport management program with a national reputation and laid a solid foundation for all of the business-related programs that we will build upon for years to come. 

“We are forever grateful for Ralph’s leadership and the Kingdom impact that he made through his position at NGU,” said Duncan.

Johnson taught physical education for nine years at Youngstown State University and physical education and history for one year at Sharon City Schools. He also has 34 years of undergraduate teaching experience in physical education at Youngstown State University and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Ralph Johnson was a General in the King’s Army who mentored men and women in the faith for five decades. His leadership, deep love for sport management, and sincere academic discipleship led to developing the number one ranked sport management program in the country,” said Professor of Sport Management Dr. Jeff Briggs. “I personally and professionally grew under his Fathering, and will greatly miss my friend.”

Johnson completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Education with an emphasis in sports administration at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989. He held a Master of Education from Slippery Rock University and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a physical education emphasis from Youngstown State University.

A native of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, son of the late Carl Edward and Marie Land Johnson, was a member of Praise Cathedral in Greer.

Surviving is his wife, Jane Ann Bibbee Johnson of the home; five daughters, Donna Miller of Charleston, Deborah Brandt (Jerry) of Spartanburg, Rebecca James of Greenville, Shannon Brasher of Dover, Alabama and Stacy Lozier of Greenville; a son, Geffrey Lozier of Myrtle Beach; a sister, Carla Rosenberger (Gary) of Moore; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his first wife, Peggy Mayfield Johnson.

A memorial service will be held on Sat., July 25 at 1 p.m. at Praise Cathedral located at 3390 Brushy Creek Road in Greer. 

Memorials may be made to North Greenville University Crusader Club, P.O. Box 1892, Tigerville, SC 29688.

Online condolences may be made at The Wood Mortuary.

Release updated June 20, 2020

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