Remembering a KCRW Great: Charlene Johnson

Written by
Charlene Johnson, Director of Member Services

A letter to the staff from Jennifer Ferro, President of KCRW:

It’s with the heaviest of  hearts that I have to let you know that Charlene Johnson, KCRW’s Director of Member Services, passed away yesterday afternoon.

This is both unexpected and shocking to all of us who have grown to know and love working with her through these many years.

For those of you who didn’t know Charlene well – Charlene started at KCRW years back as a data entry assistant in our membership department – she was always a quiet person who kept to herself, did her job, did it well and through an incredible work ethic achieved anything that was asked of her.

It wasn’t until we found ourselves immersed in a complex data transfer with Salesforce that this strong-willed, determined person began to show a side of her we were not yet aware of.  

Her tackling of the complex issues arising from our data transition soon made it clear to me that we had this hidden gem whose talents were being greatly underused at KCRW.

I soon had her managing our data, overseeing our membership team and taking on a strong, but gentle leadership role here.

It was a decision that I am still proud of.

Out of respect for the privacy that was so important to Charlene – I will not share any more details of her passing – it was her way and that’s why this is so shocking to us all here. 

We are learning just now of her immediate family and will have more information on services at a later date.

There are some of you I wish I could have told in person – so please forgive this slightly impersonal email.  

So much of our conscious lives are spent together in the workplace. More than with our families.  It can feel so strange when real life intrudes and reminds us that our time here is finite and that there is more to our lives than what we see at work.

I know you’ll share in mourning the loss of this lovely woman in our KCRW lives and I hope we all take a few moments to think about the important things, the meaningful things, and the extraordinary things that bring us the strength to carry on even in the face of great sadness.