Landscape architect Carol Roxane Johnson, FASLA, died December 11, 2020, at St. Andrews Village, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Born September 6, 1929 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Carol was graduated from Wellesley College in 1951 and earned a landscape architecture degree from Harvard University in 1957. After working at The Architects Collaborative (TAC), she founded Carol R. Johnson Associates (CRJA) in 1959, when few women were design industry principals. During her tenure as president and CEO, CRJA completed park, housing, campus and transportation projects nationally and internationally, including the U.S. Pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal, John Marshall Park in Washington, D.C., and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park in Cambridge.
Her parents, an educator and an attorney, instilled in Carol her work ethic, her love of nature and her passion for travel. Carol was an entrepreneur from an early age. A printing toy launched a community newspaper called the Boulevard Bugle with the masthead, “May the Bugle Never Play Taps.” Carol took over the business from her older brother, increased circulation exponentially and later sold it to the Union Register, where she continued as columnist.
Starting with a bike trip across Europe in 1951, Carol was always planning her next adventure with friends and family. She hiked Kenyan grasslands, Iranian gardens, Italian hilltops, and the French Massif Central with her nieces, climbed all of New Hampshire’s 48 peaks over 4000 feet with her dear friend and partner John Werme and completed two major treks in Nepal. In fact, in 1995 she was the oldest woman to traverse the high altitude Annapurna circuit. Closer to home, she made regular pilgrimages to Block Island Sound fishing grounds, Newfound Lake, Fenway Park and the Game. An extraordinary cook and gardener, Carol designed her Cambridge home for garden parties and stories of revelry still abound.
Carol taught in the Planning Department at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) from 1966 to 1973 and lectured widely, including at architecture schools in Taiwan in 1984. She served as a trustee for the Trustees of Reservations and the Hubbard Educational Trust, as designator for the George B. Henderson Foundation and commissioner for Boston Civic Design Commission. Honors awarded Carol include Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (1982), the ASLA Medal (1998), honorary degrees from Wentworth Institute of Technology (1996) and Gettysburg College (2002), and Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award (2004).
Carol was predeceased by her brother, C. Clark Johnson and partner John V. Werme. She is survived by her nephew and nieces, Peter Johnson, Andrea Elwell and Virginia Johnson, and John’s children Eric Werme, Christine Werme and Douglas Werme. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Trustees of Reservations at thetrustees.org.
A Celebration of the Life of Carol Roxane Johnson
A Zoom Service hosted by Follen Community Church, Lexington
Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 1 pm
Meeting ID: 822 9887 5183
At the Families request, Please disregard the send flowers and plant a tree section. Thank you