It is with very heavy hearts that Council board and staff share the news of the passing of board member, Steve Johnson, on March 14, 2019.
Steve first joined the Council board in 2012. He recently served as Second Vice President, and on several committees, including the Executive, Awards, Legislative, and Human Resources Committees. He contributed his expertise to each committee and lived experience as a guide dog handler in the service dog work group.
As a member of the Executive Committee, Steve was a dedicated supporter of changing the wording of the Council’s mission in 2017, replacing the word “independence” with “empowerment.” Steve truly understood interdependence, that only by working together and encouraging each other to live our lives to the fullest can we move forward.
In one of Steve’s final Facebook posts, he asked us all to, “try to understand what is really important in life. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. We all want to be independent, but let’s strive for interdependence, as we may all need each other at some point in our lives.”
Steve will be remembered for his positivity, friendliness, thoughtful questions, a willingness to do whatever he could to make a difference, and a passion for the outdoors. He enjoyed working in his garden, and each year decided on a theme or color scheme to choose the plants he wished to grow. Steve’s passion was hunting and fishing.
“He was an amazing human being whose compassion for persons with disabilities was eclipsed only by his own zest for life and adventure,” says Chris Richmond, Council board chair. “A true outdoorsman, Steve demonstrated blindness need not be a limitation but an alternate vehicle for the way in which we experience the world. Steve’s passion for advocacy will be greatly missed.”
We offer sincerest condolences to Steve’s family and friends, and we are grateful for all the ways in which Steve served people across Wisconsin who are blind or visually impaired.
Read Steve’s obituary by visiting obituaries.lacrossetribune.com.