It is hard to put into words what has happened today in Douglas and Coffee County. Two respected elected officials, school board member Ronnie Johnson and city commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper passed away after extended illnesses.
Johnson, who suffered from diabetes, went into the hospital early last week and endured a heart catheterization and gall bladder surgery. The procedures, coupled with his diabetes, weakened his already ailing body. Sadly, Mr. Johnson never recovered. He served the children of the Coffe County School System admirably, honorably, and selflessly.
This afternoon, Dr. Morris Leis, superintendent of schools, released the following statement regarding Mr. Johnson’s passing:
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news with each of you that Mr. Ronnie Johnson, our current school board member from District 1, has passed away. Mr. Johnson went peacefully surrounded by his family.
“Mr. Johnson, who served as a proud member of the Coffee County Board of Education since January 1, 1999, loved everything about the Coffee County School System. A lifelong resident of Coffee County, he was an avid Trojan fan. We will always remember his presence, dedication and commitment to our school district and most especially our boys and girls. A strong advocate of reading, he was passionate that every child needed to learn to read – no matter their age. As arrangements are finalized, we will share them with you.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Johnson, their children, grandchildren and all of their extended family.”
Bryan Preston, District 4 board member, published this statement on his Facebook page: “I'm saddened today by the passing of my colleague Ronnie Johnson. I'm heartbroken for Mamie and all of their family. I adore this picture that's been shared. What looks like the reflected flash of a camera simply isn't, it's the reflection of the love and energy and grace that Mamie and Ronnie share with one another. I take solace that Ronnie's body is completely healed. Ronnie was one of a kind and I will miss him terribly. Romans 12:6-8.”
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