Remembering Lincoln Street Neighborhood Activist Nancy Johnson

By Edith Morgan


On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, a group of her long-time neighbors assembled at the World War II Memorial at the intersection of Lincoln and Burncoat streets to pay a final homage to Dr. Nancy Johnson, for whom the street between the memorial and a funeral home was named a few years back.
Nancy was truly a model for us all: as a passionate educator who influenced so many college students as a professor at Worcester State University, as a neighbor who was always out there in our Lincoln Street neighborhood helping in so many ways; as a home owner who always maintained her property attractively; and as a watchdog over neighborhood properties she felt did not meet her rigorous standards for what a neighborhood should look like.

The city street sign reads: NANCY JOHNSON WAY

I remember the years that Nancy and her great German Shepherd would patrol Lincoln Street, Nancy picking up litter and pulling up weeds. They made their journey all the way from the expressway by Lincoln Square to the overpass approaching the great insurance complex!!!

Nancy maintained a special relationship with the Worcester DPW, who picked up the great number of trash bags she filled, and with the Code Department, who were kept apprised of any building code violations (usually due to absentee landlords) that needed to be reported to the City.

Nancy was for many years a faithful member of our Brittan Square Neighborhood Association, writing up histories of the numerous buildings on Lincoln Street that had played a role in America’s history. She was an indefatigable historian and served as a docent at the Worcester Art Museum, among the many other things that interested her. She volunteered at the Worcester Historical Museum, too.

Nancy was also a great friend to me personally – and I still have so many of the tasteful gifts she bestowed upon me through the years. They are always here as a reminder of her generosity – she never forgot a birthday!

The late Nancy Johnson’s beloved Lincoln Street.

For the next few days there will be many remembrances of her various endeavors, in various places, by those whom she touched over the years – Worcester remembers … I fervently hope that her example will be remembered and continued by young and old alike!