Ronald Edward Johnson, 78, of Zephyr passed away Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Abilene.

Visitation will from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at Blaylock Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at Freedom Fellowship Church (1040 Early Blvd Early, Texas 76802), reception following. Arrangements are under the direction of Blaylock Funeral Home of Brownwood.

Ronald was born on Dec. 18, 1939, to Richard Kosse and Sammie Lee (Barker) Johnson in Harlingen. He and his wife, Nancy, raised seven children. Ron earned four college degrees and spent over 50 years in education reform.

In 1967, he was recruited as a Ford Fellow because they counted him as one of 66 young educators who would most likely influence US education in the following decades; and in 1972, he was included in Who’s Who in the West in education.

In 1972, Ron joined School of Tomorrow. In their employ, he traveled all over the US and across the globe serving in various positions, including Vice President of Development until 1993.

In 1994, Ron founded Paradigm Alternative Center in Dublin. In 1995, USA Today cited Paradigm as among the top 55 schools for at-risk youth.

As president of Paradigm, he opened three additional Charter Schools in Comanche, Wallis, and Early, until 2010 when he transferred the schools to Responsive Education Solutions. During that time, Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum came into its own, servicing homeschools, public schools, and private academies.

Ron was a faithful husband, a beloved father, and servant of the Lord. He will be greatly missed.

Ron is survived by his wife, Nancy Johnson of Zephyr; sons, Hugh Johnson of La Grande, Oregon, Nathan Johnson and wife Lenise of Camp Wood; daughters, Rachael Merritt and husband Russell of Kennesaw, Georgia, Rebecca Browder and husband Darren of Midland, Sarah Barbee of Edna Hill, Hannah Barbee of Chama, New Mexico, and Lydia Seals and husband Bryan of Zephyr; 16 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister; one niece; two nephews; two grand-nieces; and three grand-nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Samaritan’s Purse at Online condolences for the family are welcome at