(pictured above: Dot Johnson addresses attendees at her retirement reception on July 31.)
After dedicating four decades to helping others feel comfortable in their homes, Dot Johnson will be spending more time in hers.
She retired Thursday, July 31 from the North Carolina Housing Services and Management Corporation, which provides quality services and management at low and moderate income housing facilities.
“I don’t have any plans right now,” Johnson said about her post-retirement. “I am going to take off the month of August, and I don’t know what I will do after that.”
NCHSM oversees several Winston-Salem housing developments, including assisted living complexes and units for the elderly and homeless. During her long career, Johnson opened and managed the 144-unit Millbrook Apartments in 1978, becoming one of the city’s first black apartment managers.
She spent eight years at Millbrook, before moving on to work with and at complexes like Granville Place Apartments, University Place Apartments, Koerner Place, Vespers Apartments, Gladstone Apartments and Mock Place Apartments.
Her duties were vast. She helped residents move-in and planned activities and programs like health fairs and monthly luncheons. She even transported residents to local grocery and drug stores.
“I like working with people and the elderly. I learned from my experiences,” she said.
Martha Rokahr was among the friends, residents and colleagues who feted Johnson at her retirement celebration, which was held at Granville Place. Rokahr said Johnson has not changed since the two meet during Johnson’s first days with the company.
“She could always talk me down when I got crazy about things that people were doing or things that were happening,” Rokahr said. “We just had a good time together. I can’t believe that she stuck with it this long. I learned a lot from her about how to deal with the elderly.”
Teresa Wood, Johnson’s supervisor and the company’s director of Resident Services, said it will be impossible to replace her.
“We have been really good friends,” Wood said. “We have had the same ideas about how we should be treating our elderly folks; that is one of the reasons we have gotten along extremely well. We are all going to miss her.”
Johnson has not made any solid plans for the future. One thing is clear: the lively Johnson is unlikely to sit still for long.
“I like people, and I like working with people, so I will probably go from (here) to my church, Goler Metropolitan AME Zion,” Johnson said.