SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local leaders continue to mourn the loss of community activist Ronn Johnson. Board members are still in a state of shock after Ronn Johnson passed away this past weekend. Now, they are working to keep his legacy alive.

“I’m feeling a sense of lostness. I’ve had the pleasure to know Mr. Johnson, I called him Mr. J since I was five,” said Board Member Siobhan Spreill.

Four days after the passing of community activist Ronn Johnson, many are still grieving the sudden loss. The CEO and President of Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services died Saturday on what would have been Dr. King’s 93rd birthday, of a COVID-19 related illness, despite being vaccinated.

“We’ve had grief councilors come in during the last two days to make sure the staff has someone to speak with,” said Calvin Hill.

Calvin Hill serves as the Vice President of Inclusion and Communication at Springfield College. One of the first people he met seven years ago when he started at that position was Ronn Johnson, “He was a great mentor and leader for me. He connected me with people in the community. He helped me get a foothold with community engagement.”

MLK Family Services is looking at the possibility of an interim President and CEO, and still plans on holding its annual Social Justice Awards in April in Johnson’s honor.

“Mr. Johnson treated everyone with the upmost respect and he was such a gentle and fair man. Everybody felt like family to him and he always lend a helping hand,” said Spreill.

Funeral services have not been completed yet but were told the family will be doing something private.