Charles W. Johnson '55, a great friend of MIT and of the Koch Institute, passed away on September 30, 2012. Chuck was a member of the Koch Institute Leadership Council (KILC) from 2009 to 2012 as well as many other MIT organizations. Throughout his 60 years in the computer industry and into retirement, Chuck remained highly engaged at MIT.
Charles W. Johnson was a co-founder and Chairman of Visual Numerics, Inc. in Houston, Texas. Chuck was in the computer industry for over 59 years. Prior to co-founding Visual Numerics, he was a systems engineer manager for IBM. He started his career at MIT on the Whirlwind computer. He then was manager of the Computer Center at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).
A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Chuck lived there with his wife, Jen, and three of their six children. Chuck was affiliated with the following organizations: Emeritus Director of Congdon Orchards, Inc.; Member of the Advisory Board of Johnson Bank, Inc.; Member of two MIT visiting committees (the Department of Biology and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation); Honorary member of the MIT Corporation Development Committee; Member of Principal Benefactors of the Mayo Clinic; President of the Racine Police and Fire Commission; and Director of the Racine Zoological Society.
Among many contributions to MIT, Chuck and Jen Johnson sponsored the first Koch Institute Clinical Investigator, Alice Shaw. Most recently, the Johnsons are supporting the construction of a roughly 14,000-square-foot Technology Children’s Center (TCC) that will nearly double the on-campus childcare slots available to Institute faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students. The new facility, at 219 Vassar St., is expected to open in late summer 2013.
He received the following honors: Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering); Sigma Xi (Scientific Research); and from MIT, the George B. Morgan ‘20 Award; the Henry B. Kane ‘24 Award; and the Marshall B. Dalton ‘15 Award. Chuck recently received the Bronze Beaver Award, the highest honor given by the MIT Alumni Association. In 1955, Chuck received his Civil Engineering (CE) degree at MIT. In 1952 he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.