Norman McClure Johnson ’54

Norman McClure Johnson of Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC died at the age of 90 on January 7, 2022.

The son of Reverend Norman and Mary McClure Johnson, he was born in Blacksburg, VA on February 28, 1931. Reared in Rocky Mount, NC, Norman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1954. After serving as a U.S. Army officer in El Paso, TX, he went on to study at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Munich, the University of Freiburg, and UNC Chapel Hill, where he received his PhD. Norman taught European history at Davidson College and Salisbury University until his retirement.

He enjoyed sailing, international travel, and riding his bike to campus. Norman will be remembered by his family and friends for his dry wit, quest for historical irony, vast knowledge of international and domestic affairs, appreciation of music, and gift as a raconteur.

Norman is survived by Nancy Revelle Johnson, his wife and sounding board of 57 years, daughter Claire Johnson-Hurry (Doug), who fondly called him “Vats,” and grandson Wallace McClure Hurry. He was predeceased by his brother, James Wallace Johnson (Roseann Nagle), who shared his brother’s passion for sailing.

Please visit to express condolences to the family. Donations in Norman’s memory can be made to NC WARN to support energy & climate justice (NC WARN, P.O. Box 61051, Durham, NC 27715,