Statement by Rebuilding Together on the Passing of Patricia Riley Johnson, Founding President and CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2017 – Caroline Blakely, President and CEO of Rebuilding Together, made the following statement regarding the passing of Patricia Riley Johnson, the organization's founding CEO and President.
"Through her vision and dedication to Rebuilding Together, Patty Johnson impacted the lives of tens of thousands of low-income homeowners, allowing older adults to age in place, helping injured veterans and people with disabilities to live with dignity and giving young children around the country a safe place to live and learn.
Coming from humble beginnings, Patty recognized a lack of programs and resources to assist homeowners in need. She believed that everyone deserved to live in a safe and healthy home. As the driving force behind the founding of Rebuilding Together's national office in 1988, her passion, advocacy and leadership were crucial in making Rebuilding Together the nation’s leading safe and healthy housing and community revitalization organization. During her tenure as founding president and CEO, she grew the organization to 255 affiliates nationwide, presided over the network’s repair and rehabilitation of over 100,000 homes nationwide, and led the effort to rebuild 1,000 homes in the wake of hurricane Katrina. She retired from Rebuilding Together in 2006.
Patty was a tireless advocate for people in need. She never lost sight of Rebuilding Together’s mission and the critical impact the organization had on low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live. Patty’s energy and enthusiasm left an indelible impression in the hearts and minds of everyone she touched.
Rebuilding Together extends our heartfelt condolences to her wonderful family and friends. Her passing is a tremendous loss for the Rebuilding Together community.
A native of Appleton, Wis., Patricia Riley Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree from the University of Chicago. She went on to work for the federal government in 1963, developing social welfare policy. In 1984, she joined the Washington, D.C. chapter of Christmas in April, growing its impact from 18 to 85 homes in her first year as Executive Director. In 2000, Patty led the rebranding of Christmas in April to Rebuilding Together. After her retirement in 2006, Patty worked in outreach ministry at the National Cathedral and was a Canon Missioner.
Her legacy will endure for decades to come."