In Memory

Warren Johnson

Warren Johnson, 73, UMUC Collegiate Associate Professor, died 27 April 2019 at his home at Augsburg. His wife died prior to his death.  His son, Michael, survives him.

Warren Johnson was born in Chicago, grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin, and served overseas with the U.S. Army during the late 1960s. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Sociology.

Starting with evening classes in 1974, he taught later for the Day Campus in Germany, for AFCENT in the Netherlands, and for UMUC in Manama, Bahrain. Adding Distance Education classes in 1998 his courses focused on Military Sociology (SOCY 464), Religion (SOCY 426), Theory (SOCY 403), Demography (SOCY 410 and SOCY 312), and Gender (SOCY 462 and SOCY 325). He helped train teachers for DE, was a participant in the Accessibility in Distance Education (ADE) project, and was a Fellow in the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUS). (from Warren’s web site:

Warren taught with UMUC for 40 years.  He was awarded distinction of professor emeritus May 2015.

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06/23/22 05:34 PM #1    

Patrick Dua

When Exchanges cease – inexplicably

One day in 1997 when an offer from our Heidelberg Headquarters asked that I participate in an online training for the UMUC Distance Education program, I had no idea what this meant for the future of my standard teaching methods. But once the curtain unfolded for the training to begin, I soon felt that I was in good company, given the large number of UMED colleagues (both known and unknown) who happened to be on the list of participants. As the training proceeded, the names of a number of colleagues immediately registered as reference points on the WebTycho platform, above all, on account of their active and incisive inputs. One such colleague was Warren Johnson, located at Augsburg in Bavaria, as those of you from our first group of European DE faculty might recall. From 2004 until June 2012 our so-called MdFF community grew and transformed into a seasoned marketplace catering to the concerns and teaching interests of the Europe DE faculty. Our individual  postings, opinions, meme identifiers  – whether on education, politics, international affairs or social issues – mapped us out as distinct digital natives. The forum helped to create familiar, and at times, predictable individuals, always engaged in vibrant conversations as a group with each other. Warren was always a key asset in all directions of the various discussions.

One fascinating thing about this was that a lot of us on the MdFF list never personally met, nor were we ever personally to meet, one another. If I am not mistaken, MdFF stood for Maryland Faculty Forum; and Bruce Hull was one of the care-takers. As commonly known, later developments made it necessary for the forum interactions to cease at some point in 2012. But some of us continued afterwards to interact with one another every now and then via email or other forms of social media. Warren and myself were engaged in email exchanges beginning from the early 2000s. Later on, our conversations mostly involved our mutual interests in the DE mentoring program, grassroots news and other happenings in Germany.

Sometime in 2013 before Term II started, Warren wrote he had noticed that I was listed for an evening course at an Ed Center in Stuttgart where he was also scheduled to teach that term. We were both thrilled, because it meant we were going to be meeting each other in person for the first time. On the first day of class, I arrived at the school parking lot long before Warren. When he arrived, he immediately saw me standing nearby and waved to me… What I was not aware of: Warren was wheelchaired. But, he worked himself – with obvious ease - out of his specially adapted van. That maneuver sent out an instinctive signal to me that nothing could subdue the fun and joy of our first encounter.

Being in a wheelchair tends to prompt sympathy in people. There is also an assumption that being wheelchaired implies disability, and hence, incapacity or challenges to negotiate mobility issues. But, like most of us UMED folks, travel had always been a major part of Warren’s teaching career in Europe. And, as far as I could surmise, Warren had overcome any possible impediments in his background with aplomb. Break time was when I visited him downstairs to have a brief chat. His mood, accompanied by his vintage laughter upon seeing me, was always contagious.

At long last, our courses finished when the term came to an end. As I stood in the final wintry night, seeing Warren take off and disappear on his long way back to Augsburg from Stuttgart, I became instantly convinced of the resilience of spirit and the power of human will. It revealed also to me the complexity of some of Warren’s thoughts as I had come to recognize over the years. Being on the teaching trail together with Warren in Term II of 2013 was the first and last time I saw him. It’s never too late to mourn or brood over the passing of a dear one or friend. The last time I tried to contact Warren was during the first weeks of the pandemic in 2020 when much of Germany was on lockdown. For the first time, I received no response. Now, I know why. Without my knowledge, he was no more, having passed away in the previous year.

Warren, definitely, would appreciate me sharing parts of our very last exchange with you below. I think it is deserving of his memory. In a way, his few words here testify to his integrative disposition and the kind of person he really was…


Patrick Dua (Dr.) <>

Feb 17, 2017, 2:40 PM




to Warren

Oh wow, dear Warren!

I just found out that you are also present on the OMA website. I posted something on the "Colleagues Forum" sometime ago and never revisited until today. You can't believe how often I have reflected about you, ever since we all became so orphaned by UMUC Europe. Well, my own separation (of course, not self-imposed) was in March 2014 when I concluded my very last course in Stuttgart. It was in the same building where Ron Taubitz, you and me found ourselves last time.

I hope you've been doing fine.

Carry on blessed!



Warren Johnson <>

Feb 18, 2017, 9:12 PM




to me

Hi Patrick,

How nice to hear from you!  I, too, left UMUC in 2014.  Retired in August, having taught 40 years, and that was enough. 

It was hard to tell who was more delighted about my retirement -- me or my wife.  I am sorry to say, before Spring was over I lost her. The immediate cause was an embolism. The underlying cause was a brain tumor.

Orphaned in Europe is right.  But we persevere, don't we?

All the best to you and your family,




Patrick Dua (Dr.) <>

Feb 19, 2017, 12:10 AM




to Warren


Dear Warren, hi there again!

Very sorry to hear about your loss. I count it as somewhat comforting that it occurred after your formal retirement from UMUC. At least it enabled you, I assume, to devote a certain degree of precious time with her together, prior to the inevitable departure. May she rest in peace. [………]



Warren Johnson <>

Feb 19, 2017, 4:18 PM




to me


Hi Patrick,

Thank you for your kind words.  In truth, there's never enough precious time, no matter how much time you spend together.  Shortly after we got married, a sociologist, waxing eloquent, insisted that marriages are doomed to failure if the couple come from different cultures, speak different languages, and observe different faiths.  At least once a year, we jokingly asked, "Is it time yet?"  It never was time.  In the hospital, a priest administered the last rites.  At her funeral, a minister my wife picked out had the last words. Prominent in his words were those of a Muslim who celebrated Thanksgiving with us when he first came to America almost 50 years ago and remembered my wife as one of the kindest persons he ever met.

As for UMUC, I gambled and got a payout, and completely turned my back on teaching or, to nab the words of Chief Joseph, "I shall profess no more, forever." Naturally, with the Mad Hatters in the White House I vow gets broken from time to time in order to inspire informed opinions.  


We are lucky, we survived a lifetime of teaching and kept our dignity.

All the best, my friend,



May He Rest In Peace

06/24/22 09:46 AM #2    

Jane McHan

I miss Warren.  I cannot compose as articulate and accurate reflection of Warren as Patrick has written. I thank you, Patrick, for all that you have expressed about Warren and I heartily agree with you. Thank you for your posting.

 I first met Warren in 1986 during my second year with UMUC and as a faculty evaluator. My first impression of Warren was that he was one of the kindest people I had met and with a deep abiding interest in always learning more about his academic interests and about life. He was industrious and he cared about people.  He never praised himself, but he was generous in praising others and he liked to introduce his friends to each other.  In spite of physical consequences of post polio syndrome, His generosity included submitting an essay to every Social Science Newsletter.

Warren practiced Tai Chi, and  his physical limitations did not deter his travel to teach. We stayed in touch weekly until I moved to the U.S. and then we continued to stay in touch though not as often.  

I valued my friendship with Warren and I miss him. Rest in peace, Warren.

06/24/22 05:24 PM #3    

James A. "Jim" Moss

My comments are for Patrick for such a heart-warming tribute not only to Warren himself but to our overseas Marylanders' experiences.  Thank you Patick.  (Thank you too Jane for your follow-up.)  Jim Moss in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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