I joined the East Jefferson Rotary club around fall of 1997, when I first established my business in Port Hadlock, after many years of encouragement from a fellow CHS alum, Nancy McConaghy.  This was not my first Rotary experience, as I had been part of the group initiating a new club in West Chester, OH in 1991 or 92, just after women were first allowed to be members.  At that time, I had been looking for a service club that accepted women members, but the local Chamber of Commerce was the only such option to be found! I kept a pretty low profile for many years, but enjoyed participating in the Ritz activities, including baking Holiday Pies for the auction and working the hospitality tables there, and serving on the road clean-up crews.  I have been pleased to contribute to Polio Plus and the water project in Thailand, and to local activities.  I was in the group who traveled to Thailand for the dedication of that project.  I had to take a leave of absence for four years  (2010-14) due to employment in Clallam County and my mother's last illness, but was welcomed back when those situations resolved, four years ago.  Since then, I have served as one of the Rotary mentors to the CHS Interact Club, and on the Foundation and Communication/Publicity Committees.

A little bit more about my return to Rotary in 2014-15:  After my mom died, I was still pretty busy as executor, and not quite ready to re-engage with activities, but thanks to Karen Griffiths, who I kept running into in the grocery store, I decided to come to a meeting, anticipating that after four years and my former "low profile," nobody would remember me.  Imagine my surprise when I walked in and half a dozen folks shouted out, "Look who's here!  Diane's back!"  I guess I made more of an impression than I thought, and it was the warmest welcome I have ever received!  Of course, I immediately asked to be re-instated, and am very happy to be back in this wonderful Rotary family!  Thank you all!

As I hinted above, I graduated from Chimacum High School, a 12-year student.  I grew up on part of my grandfather's homestead in Dabob...Charley Johnson came to the US via Canada as a Swedish sailor who deserted his ship and was rowed across the strait by a Klallam native.  He established his homestead in 1881, and "proved up" in 1889, VERY shortly after Washington became a state.  My dad, Erving, was born on the farm, and my mother, Georgena Schauer, was born in her aunt and uncle's house in Quilcene, about 7 miles south!  My younger brother, Tom, and I were born at the old St. John's hospital in Port Townsend.

After High School, I attended Washington State University for a BA in Psychology, and went from there to Michigan State University for my MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology.  My doctoral dissertation involved comparing low income adjudicated abusive mothers with low income mothers rated as excellent mothers by their case workers.  My entire career has centered on providing psychotherapy through public mental health services in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington, along with various consultation and community-building activities aimed at mental illness prevention, and last but not least, hiring and supervising many staff and graduate student interns along the way.  My biggest single achievement was the development of a prevention program for empowering low income women, called "Stress Management for Low Income Women," done through a grant from the Michigan Mental Health Department.  It was later published by the Department and saw somewhat widespread use in the Eastern part of the US for a while.  The program received a national prevention award in 1986.   If I have a specialty, I would have to say it is in trauma treatment, in particular, child abuse victims and survivors, and about 1/3 of my practice now is with military veterans and their PTSD issues.

I lived in E. Lansing, Michigan for 13 years, and then West Chester, OH for 16 years, before returning home to the Olympic Peninsula in 1994.  I met my husband, another therapist and a college professor of Counseling, while I was in graduate school.  We divorced in 1994.  I have a step-daughter, Andy, with whom I am still very close; she has a terrific husband, Jerry, two adult step-daughters with 6 children between them, and two biological children, Ben and Samantha (Sam).  I just attended Ben's HS graduation in St. Peters, Missouri---seems like last year when I was there to welcome him into the world!  But now I'm going to the great-grandkid's Little League games!  Where does the time go??

I have always been involved in service to my community.  As a kid, I was in 4-H, and we had toy-making and Christmas tree growing projects for others; I was also a camp counselor and learned Robert's Rules of Order as an officer in my 4-H club!  In college, I organized monthly displays for the Student Union building featuring different countries' cultures, and had leadership roles in my dorm. As a graduate student, I helped organize and train volunteers for a citizen/student Suicide Crisis Center, and continued to take shifts as long as I lived in E. Lansing.  In Michigan, Ohio and Washington, I helped form and lead such actions as a county-wide child abuse prevention council, a drug prevention program in the schools, a volunteer Home Visitor program for new mothers, a life skills curriculum for the High School, and parenting classes for pregnant teens and other parent groups.  In Ohio, I was very active in the Chamber of Commerce, and served as President and other positions, and as noted earlier, with Chamber friends, helped start the new Rotary Club there.  For the first time in my life, after I moved here and involved myself in a citizen's committee to research rules for critical areas, I got political; I helped reactivate the Chimacum Grange and ran for County Commissioner in 2012.  I am currently president of the Grange.  I am also on the Board and Vice President of Count Me In for Quilcene, a citizen group dedicated to empowering the community to define and meet its own needs.  I have been very engaged with my church, Port Hadlock Community United Methodist church, since returning home.  I have been a Certified Lay Speaker since about 1997, have served off and on as either Lay Leader or Council Chair about 12-13 times over the last 20 years.  I play the bass as part of the music team, and have prepared services and preached at least once a year as Lay Speaker--I have even done a few memorial services!  I've volunteered for the YMCA's Literacy program in Quilcene for the last two years.  And I was instrumental in initiating the organization of my community to try to protect the peace and pristine nature of our Tarboo watershed--I'm a proud board member of the Tarboo Ridge Coalition!

SO--my passions are community, farms, empowering others, trees (nature), solitude, creating opportunities for others, parenting, my wonderful clients (watching people grow), my family and friends, music (especially bluegrass and classical).  My hobbies include reading  (spy novels, detective novels, forensic mysteries, biographies of people who have overcome great obstacles), making gardens (flowers, veggies, fruit), arranging flowers, and drawing.  Not performing/playing music as much anymore, except at church.  I'm thinking about adding writing.


(Src)  Diane Johnson  -  Updated mm/dd/yyyy. Submitted 06/24/2018

OK, this is my story (for now). What's yours? I think many of us would like to read it. Click here to view some very short and simple information to create (or amend) and submit your Rotary Story to me, and see a growing list of members who have submitted theirs.