Johnny was born November 13‚ 1955. He served as a volunteer firefighter and first responder for the town of Hot Springs since the age of 16. He held the rank of chief for 12 years from 1988-2000. He joined the North Carolina Forest Service in 2006 as an on-call wildland firefighter‚ serving the last three years as a crew leader.
Johnny loved serving his community. Whether it was moving a booth in the diner to retrieve a child’s quarter‚ stopping a child from choking‚ shoveling snow from an elderly person’s sidewalk‚ shooting fireworks‚ performing CPR‚ or driving the ambulance‚ he was always there to help. Johnny served as alderman on the town council from 1995-1997‚ 1999-2001‚ 2005-2007‚ and was elected again in November 2011. He served as mayor from 2007-2009.
Johnny was married to Abigail Norton for 33 years. They have two sons‚ Jonathan Eric and Joshua Adam‚ whom he dearly loved. Johnny always wanted a daughter. When Josh married Ashely‚ Johnny had his daughter. He loved her as though she were his own. Johnny has one grandson‚ Carter. Carter’s name for Johnny is Dadaw. Johnny loved Carter and loved being called Dadaw. He would take Carter to work with him‚ take him to the river to throw rocks‚ or just stay home and play with him. They were ‘bestest buddies.’