WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Joycelyn Johnson, who represented the East Ward of Winston-Salem on the city council, has died, according to the City of Winston-Salem.

Joycelyn Johnson (Courtesy of the City of Winston-Salem)
Joycelyn Johnson (Courtesy of the City of Winston-Salem)

Johnson served four terms on the council from 1993 to 2009.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines made the announcement Wednesday, lamenting the loss of a “dedicated public servant who worked hard for not only the citizens of the East Ward, but also for the good of the entire community.”

Now represented by Annette Scippio, the East Ward includes part of downtown Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Triad Research Park, Winston-Salem State University, the Winston Lake Complex, Salem Lake and more.

Johnson chaired the Public Works Committee, and it was in her owner that the Lowery Street public works facility was renamed the Jocelyn Johnson Municipal Services Facility in 2018.

In 2019, Johnson expressed her hope for the future in an interview as her longtime church community, Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church, followed the historic walk her congregation took in 1944 to their new home at 1331 E. 4th St.

“Winston-Salem is a relatively segregated community with its housing patterns and unfortunately with the housing piece so goes the educational piece,” Johnson said at the time, recognizing the problems from the 40s that continued to haunt the city decades later. But she also saw a way forward.

“I think we can make sure it happens,” Johnson said. “I don’t know that in my lifetime it will happen, but at least we have a start.”

Below is the full statement from Mayor Joines:

“On behalf of the citizens of Winston-Salem, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of former Council Member Joycelyn Johnson. Joycelyn Johnson was a dedicated public servant who worked hard for not only the citizens of the East Ward, but also for the good of the entire community.  

“As chairman of the Public Works Committee she pushed for improved working conditions for the city’s Sanitation Division and other service functions. In recognition of her support for city employees and her advocacy for quality service to our citizens, the building that houses the city’s public works functions was named in her honor in 2018. 

“On a personal level, I was able to work with Ms. Johnson as a member of the city staff and then as a follow elected official. I was always appreciative of her kind and gentle manner, while respectful of her fierce advocacy for programs she felt were needed. “