Tyler Johnson, 25

Tyler Joseph Johnson, 25, of Mt. Airy, Md., was one of the victims in the shopping mall shooting in Columbia, Md., Saturday, Jan. 25. He was the grandson of longtime Wilton residents Jean and Bernard Ryan, who now live in Heritage Village, Southbury, Conn., and the son of their daughter, Nora Ryan Johnson, and her husband, Howard P. Johnson Jr., of Mt. Airy.

Born Aug. 2, 1988, in Columbia, and a 2006 graduate of Centennial High School, Mr. Johnson worked toward a culinary arts degree at Howard Community College. He was employed as a chef at several area restaurants before starting his retail job.

For the past two years, Mr. Johnson served as the youngest member on the board of The Serenity Center in Columbia, where he implemented new anti-sexual harassment behavior standards, ran late-night meetings, and inspired young participants to dig into their pockets to give back, effectively doubling basket donations within a very short time. He also worked closely with the Howard County Drug-Free Program, speaking at local high schools. Assisting others with recovery from addiction was his passion, and he was making plans to obtain a degree in counseling.

Interviewed by Frederick (Md.) News-Post reporter Cara Anthony, The Serenity Center’s executive director, Claudia Friend, described how Mr. Johnson took responsibility for midnight meetings that helped recovering addicts. “I trusted him,” said Ms. Friend, “to take care of people.”

The center’s president, Stephen Sprecher, told reporter Anthony, “I thought Tyler, as a young person, was quite remarkable to be so involved.”

Known as a fiercely loyal friend, Mr. Johnson was a beloved son, brother and family member. In addition to his parents, he leaves his sister, Anna Eames Johnson, his maternal grandparents, Bernard and Jean Ryan, his aunt, Barbara Ann Ryan, and devoted aunts, uncles, cousins, and many, many friends.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Community Foundation of Howard County, Tyler Johnson Memorial Fund, 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Century Plaza, Suite 315, Columbia MD 21044. Donors may also make memorial gifts online at www.cfhoco.org/give/donate/foundation. In the website’s memorial field, it is important to specify “Tyler Johnson.”