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September 29, 2016

Obituary: Resheeda L. Johnson

Funeral services for assistant housekeeping coordinator Resheeda L. Johnson will be held today, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh, 2225 Bedford Ave.

Johnson died Sept. 21, 2016. Born Sept. 3, 1969, she was a graduate of Brashear High School.

Johnson began her University career in 1995 as a housekeeper, one of the Housing department’s youngest employees. She worked in every residence hall on campus and in communications services.

In October 2006 she was promoted to the position she held for the next decade, aiding in the supervision of all department housekeepers. Her responsibilities included conducting building inspections, creating daily job assignments for employees, processing and assigning housekeeping work requests, ordering supplies and equipment and training new employees. She also was acting supervisor in the housekeeping coordinator’s absence.

In addition, Johnson was part of the housekeeping team that handled summer conferences, camps and PittStart sessions on the Pittsburgh campus.

Outside of work, she played on Housing’s intramural softball team.

Coworkers recalled a hands-on colleague who didn’t let her supervisory position change her, and a single mother who worked two jobs for much of her life to provide for her children.

Said Betty Broadwater, a housekeeper for 26 years: “I never heard Resheeda really get angry — even when she was the boss. She would give you the shirt off her back.”

Al McClain, a shipper/receiver who started just before Johnson, recalled Johnson being “real particular on getting the job done. She had great ideas on moving the University in a big direction,” such as fresh ideas for improvements in housekeeping equipment and methods.

“She acknowledged good workers,” McClain said. “She didn’t have a problem with saying, ‘Look, you did a really good job.’

“She was a no-nonsense person, but she was able to relate to you as a person,” he added.

Evette Coleman, housekeeper and crew leader for the past four years, said Johnson was a “boss as well as a friend. She always had a smile on her face. We talked to her about our problems.

“She trusted her employees.” Coleman added. “She cared about her workers. She taught all of us a lot about housing.”

Coleman remembered Johnson as being fair, even when circumstances forced her to issue a reprimand. She also was willing to get into the trenches, despite being dressed for an office job: “She wasn’t afraid to work in her work clothes to show us how to get the job done,” Coleman said. “Pitt lost a good person.”

Johnson is survived by daughters Renee, Erica and Felicia, and four grandchildren.

—Marty Levine 

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 3

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