Richard T. Johnson

Dec. 24, Dec. 24, 1924 - Feb. 21, 2013
Richard T. Johnson - Dec. 24, Dec. 24, 1924 - Feb. 21, 2013

    Richard T. Johnson, who was among the founders of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, died at San Simeon by the Sound in Greenport on Feb. 21. He was 87. The cause of death was cancer, his niece, Frances Walton, said.
    Mr. Johnson was a person of many interests. He worked for Chrysler in Latin America and South America, and on the side wrote plays. His co-written script for the comedy “All the Girls Came Out to Play” had a three-day run on Broadway before closing in 1972 but continues to be performed by theater companies around the world.
    He was born on Christmas Eve in 1924 to Rudolph Oscar Johnson and the former Ethel Thomblade in Utica, N.Y. He grew up in Bronxville, N.Y.
    He majored in economics and linguistics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and then entered the Army. During World War II he was a staff sergeant, seeing action in the Battle of the Bulge.
    After the end of the war he remained in Europe, undertaking postgraduate studies at the University of Geneva.
    His time in Montauk, at a house he owned on Big Reed Path until 2008, was important to him. He was involved in local politics and conservation, and was an enthusiastic gardener, Ms. Walton said. He also collected African art.
    The concerned citizens environmental group came to be as a group of homeowners, including Mr. Johnson, organized to block the development of the land around Big Reed Pond with as many as 1,400 houses. Their effort led to the creation of Montauk County Park, then to a string of other environmental victories.
    Mr. Johnson was buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk. A sister, Barbara Walton, died before him.
    A memorial service for Mr. Johnson will be held at Fort Pond Cemetery at 4 p.m. on March 30. Ms. Walton suggested donations in his memory to San Simeon by the Sound, 61700 Route 48, Southold 11944.