Remembering Jim Johnston
January 9, 2018
Following yesterday’s announcement of the passing of Jim Johnston, OOIDA’s longtime president and CEO, trucking social media lit up with condolences.
Heartfelt condolences to our Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) family on the passing of Jim… https://t.co/aNGpgpJ6wu
— Freewheelin' Radio (@TruckerTweet) January 8, 2018
He looked like sunshine and smelled like Old Spice and Marlboro cigarettes. He was a big deal to me, a hero and a leader and my heart hurts tonight. ~ Wendy pic.twitter.com/oIM7wqS80T
— George and Wendy (@truckingwithgnw) January 9, 2018
Johnston’s legacy as a tireless supporter and advocate for the rights of truckers, was cited again and again by those who shared their thoughts and remembrances.
Our advocacy will be as strong as ever even though we will be without Jim. Our executive & board members will be working as hard as ever pushing the agenda for OOIDA & its members. We will not falter one bit. Jim would want it to be exactly that way.
— Reever Transport (@ReeverTransport) January 9, 2018
— 🇨🇦Thomas Mooney🇨🇦 (@OntarioTrucker) January 8, 2018
Johnston was one of the founders of OOIDA, and had served as the Association’s president since 1974. Most of the Association’s founding members had returned to full-time operation of their businesses by 1975. Jim had been elected president of OOIDA in 1974, its third president since its founding a year earlier. Jim said he was the “only one left and too dumb or stubborn to know when to quit.”
So very sorry to hear this news. The industry's thoughts and prayers are with his family. https://t.co/i6d2sAi3Ib
— Rebecca Brewster (@ATRIPREZ) January 9, 2018
From its humble beginnings in an office trailer chained to a light pole at a truck stop in Grain Valley, Jim nurtured OOIDA to its current status as the largest national organization of professional truckers in the country.
Jim was an outspoken champion for the rights and well-being of all professional truckers. He boldly led OOIDA’s legal challenges against many state governments and regulatory bodies on issues associated with unfair treatment against truckers – winning landmark cases in Tennessee, Alabama, Minnesota and many more. He has taken on major motor carriers for violations in truth-in-leasing regulations and other abuses of small-business truckers’ rights. Jim also advocated for the rights of truckers at the federal level, and was an influential member of several regulatory committees.
The SBTC leadership and membership wish to express their condolences to the family, friends, and associates of Jim Johnston, founder of OOIDA: https://t.co/OptnA2Xpww
— Small Biz in Trans (@TheSBTC) January 9, 2018
OOIDA’s litigation efforts have scored wins in stopping random roadside drug testing and fatigue checklists. They’ve also put more than $150 million back in the pockets of truck drivers.
Click here:https://t.co/1E57mpO6aB The President of #OOIDA has passed away. Mr Johnson was a legend who will not be forgotten.
We thank you for your service driver and give you a moment of silence.#OOIDA #inmemory #Thankyou #Trucking # Truckers #JCanell # 365Trucking pic.twitter.com/nSprVdXlcs
— TruckStockImages.com (@Truckstockimage) January 9, 2018
In 2016, he was diagnosed with lung cancer that required surgery and an aggressive post-op treatment plan. Despite doctor’s orders, he continued to work as much as possible during radiation and chemotherapy. He continued to work full time up until only days before his passing. He remained dedicated to his core mission and that of the Association – fighting for the rights of all truckers.
My truck will forever wear the OOIDA badge. May he rest in peace.
— MidWestStevenB (@buttcrvp) January 9, 2018
OOIDA has created a tribute page on its website for members and friends to leave thoughts or comments for Jim and his family. Service information is pending.