On Day Of Her Death, Muskegon City Commission Votes To Rename Roundabout At Third/Western After Patricia Johnson

Andrew Trzaska | January 3, 2012

Upon a request from the mayor, the Muskegon City Commission voted Tuesday to rename the roundabout at Third Street and Western Avenue after former Community Foundation director Patricia Johnson, who passed away Tuesday morning.

Pat Johnson’s impact in the community, both independently and through the Community Foundation For Muskegon County (CFFMC), included but was not limited to: the renovation of the LC Walker Arena, serving on the Downtown Muskegon Development Committee to help rebuild the demolished mall property, helping to commission “Muskegon Together Rising” sculpture by Richard Hunt as well as other downtown art, converting the Michigan Theater into the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, fostering the development of Heritage Landing, and involvement in the Cherry County Playhouse.

At Tuesday’s organizational meeting at city hall, Mayor Steve Warmington left his seat to approach the public’s podium to ask for the commission’s support in honoring a self-described “Big Red” and “Lakesider”.

Mayor Warmington shared the news of her death earlier that day of terminal colon cancer, and shared a long list of ways that Johnson benefited the community, including the growth of the CFFMC.

“She gave by example, not only out of the pocketbook, but more in the gift of education of the community to give to their communities,” said Warmington. “Now it’s time to give in the honor of Pat.”

Johnson’s legacy was honored last week as well, when a CFFMC-organized flash mob of approximately 150 people danced in the middle of the Third/Western roundabout.  Though weak, Johnson was able to view the event from her car nearby.

A temporary red street sign noting Patricia Johnson Circle will be placed in the traffic circle from the southern approach of Third Street, coming from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Hackley Park.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst