SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - State Representative Ronald Johnson, R-Sylacauga, the Dean of the Alabama House of Representatives, died Tuesday of complications from liver cancer. He was 76.
Johnson held the District 33 seat that includes portions of Clay, Coosa, and Talladega counties for more than 40 years making him the longest continuously serving member of the House.
“Ron Johnson was one of the most respected members of the Alabama House and he served with distinction since 1978. In my years as a member and speaker, I valued Ron not only for his institutional knowledge that helped guide me but also for his friendship,” said Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon. “He made sure the voices of the people of his district were always heard. My wife Debbie and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family.”
Johnson was a pharmacist with degrees in chemistry and biology from Florida State University and a pharmacy degree from Auburn University.
He is survived by his wife Susan and his daughter Stephanie Lee.
State law requires Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special election to fill the vacancy.
Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday issued the following statement:
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Rep. Johnson this evening, following his recent cancer diagnosis. Ron and I have served together for many years. He was a real champion for the communities in Talladega, Coosa, and Clay. He was engaged with the needs of his constituents, and never turned them away. He has offered much of his life to serving the people of Alabama, and I know his colleagues in the House, friends in the Senate and I will miss working with him. I pray that his loved ones feel peace knowing he is no longer suffering and is finally at rest.”
The following statement is from Secretary of State John H. Merrill:
“Cindy and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and my former colleague State Representative Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga). Representative Johnson has selflessly served our great state for 42 years, and I am incredibly grateful for his friendship, leadership, and guidance during the many years I have been fortunate enough to know him. He leaves behind a legacy that will set an example for future legislators to follow for decades to come. His courageous attitude and eagerness to lend a helping hand to any in need will be deeply missed. His family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”