Dr. Adriel Duland Johnson Sr., son of William A. Johnson Jr. and the late Maude Kinniebrew Johnson, was born on June 22, 1957, in Tuskegee Institute.
He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, being baptized at an early age at the Greenwood Missionary Baptist Church in Tuskegee.
Adriel received his education from Chambliss Children's House Elementary School and Tuskegee Institute High School, both located in Tuskegee. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Washington University in 1979; master of science degree from Tennessee Technological University in 1981; master of science degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in 1986 and a doctorate of philosophy in 1989 from North Carolina State University (NCSU). While attending NCSU he met and married Dr. Jacqueline A. Umstead, a native of New Haven, Conn., on May 23, 1987. To this covenant union were born two sons, Adriel Jr. and Jeriel.
In 2001, he joined Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, where he was a faithful member rendering service where the spirit led him, in the bus ministry and the Boy Scouts. He was a Mason and an Eagle Scout. With a quiet spirit of strength, confidence and a commanding presence, he was a servant leader to his family, the university and the community at large. Beginning his professional career as an assistant professor at UAH, he passionately instructed, mentored and encouraged numerous students. He was colorblind when it came to advising students to pursue academic excellence and obtaining professional/ advanced degrees, particularly when it came to the Ph.D. He taught numerous science courses, which included biology, introduction to the health professions, anatomy and physiology, cell biology, nutritional physiology, animal physiology and medical terminology. During his tenure as an associate professor, his passion and purpose grew for preparing young people to be productive and successful, indicative of his leadership role as principal investigator for the Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Bridge to the Doctorate, Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Programs. He also served as faculty adviser for, the Minority Graduate Student Association (MGSA), Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc., Rho Chi Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, UAH Chapter, and Alpha Epsilon Delta Medical Careers Club. He was chairperson for the Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee and actively involved in the Council of African-American faculty. Nearest and dearest to his heart was chairing the Harold J. Wilson Scholarship Committee, honoring his late mentor.
Adriel was the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his community, scholarship and academic achievements including the Silver Beaver for Active Adult Volunteerism in Scouting, the Whitney Young Jr. Award for his involvement and mentorship role with urban youth, NASA/ASEE Award for research contribution in the Summer Faculty Fellowship Program, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, Alabama Alliance for Science and Engineering Education, Summer Research Mentor Award, AGEP and Principal Investigator of the Year Award, and the UAH Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Award. He was a Silver Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association, a lifetime member of the Alabama Academy of Science, American Society for Cell Biology, American Society of Animal Science, Chinese Society of Animal Science, Poultry Science Association, Sigma Xi and the Scientific Research Society.
His community service involvement included serving as assistant scoutmaster and coaching baseball. Baseball was always a part of his life, whether he was playing, coaching or watching the Atlanta Braves on television or in person whenever the time permitted. He was passionate about his faith, family, food and sports. He enjoyed going fishing with his family, cooking on the grill and having fellowship with friends and neighbors.
Adriel loved the Lord and his family. His life and legacy embodied the fruit of the Spirit. On Feb. 12, Dr. Adriel D. Johnson Sr. entered full eternal life. Left to cherish his life are his wife, Dr. Jacqueline Umstead Johnson; two sons, Adriel "AD" Duland Jr. and Jeriel Leland; father, William A. Johnson Jr.; two siblings, Delbert H. Johnson and Chana D. Johnson; father-in-law, Leroy Umstead; two sisters-in-law, Andrea and husband Wayne and Beverly Umstead; two brothers-in-law, Albert Dancy and wife Robin and Leroy Umstead Jr.; four aunts, Linnie Freemont, Ruth Fields, Fannie Ray and husband Lindsey and Edith Reid; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, students, scouts, baseball coaches and players, colleagues and very special friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church with Dr. O. Wendell Davis officiating. The location of interment will be announced at a later time. Dr. Johnson will lie in repose one hour prior to funeral time. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
Royal Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements directing.
He was a victim of murder.
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