Kay Hudson, Director of the Milford Public Library, made a special tribute on Wednesday, June 27 to a crowd gathered at the first evening of the downtown Music in the Park summer series. On behalf of the Milford Trustees and the City of Milford, Ms. Hudson gave special recognition to Richard Johnson for his lifelong dedicated service to the Milford community.
“I really don’t know where to begin,” directed Hudson to Mr. Johnson . “Through the library I have had the pleasure of knowing you for the last 15 years. Through those years I have grown to know a very special man, a man who is always there.”
Richard Johnson was born in July 1940 in Milford and grew up in Lincoln, graduating from Milford High School in 1958. He continued his education at the University of Delaware with an Civil Engineering degree in 1964. After graduation he joined his father’s business, the Richard Y. Johnson Company, for 1 year before becoming a member of the Navy Sea Bees, stationed in Antarctica.
In 1970 he returned to Lincoln and took over the Richard Y. Johnson company as Vice President where it grew from building houses to building commercial projects. He was a member of the Carlisle Fire Company and served 2 years on Milford City Council.
As the success of his business grew, Johnson continued to give back to the town of MIlford supporting countless causes, non-profits and community projects. He installed and donated the Milford High School scoreboard at Briggs Stadium, created a fund to support churches in Southern Delaware through the Delaware Community Fund, assisted the Milford and Seaford Boys & Girls Club in obtaining monies to build new facilities, donated funds for the General Torbert Statue at the Milford Museum and facilitated the completion of the newly constructed Milford High School Pirate Ship.
Kay hudson went on to acknowledge Richard by saying “Your guidance, direction and following by your example has let me become the person I am today. With all our efforts and especially with your vision for the future we will be able to leave a legacy to the future generations of Milford. Richard you are a hero to us all.”
As Director of the Milford Public Library, Kay dedicated the Library Portico and Library Square Amphitheater to Johnson for his love and support to the betterment of Milford. Permanent plaques will adorn the area reading ‘The Richard M. Johnson Library Portico and Library Square Amphitheater.’
As the tribute came to an end, musician Sean Reiley, sang Richard’s favorite Frank Sinatra song, ‘My Way’. With emotion in his voice, Richard joined Mr. Reiley, helping him sing the refrain “I did it my way.”
“So many people have done so much for this town but they are honored after they are gone,” commented Mr. Johnson. “I really do appreciate what they have done for me, it means so much to me.”