Family, friends and local law enforcement personnel get a chance to remember former Muscogee County Sheriff Ralph B. Johnson during a June memorial service in Columbus, the family said.
Johnson, 61, died of cancer on May 12 at his home in Hohenwald, Tenn. He served in the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years, including nine as sheriff before he retired on Jan. 1, 2009.
Cassady Johnson Einglett, his daughter, said the service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16 at Rock Presbyterian Church at 5301 Sidney Simons Blvd. Flowers may be sent to Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Road, Columbus.
Johnson was born in Columbus in 1956 and graduated from Columbus High School. He attended Columbus College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. In 1998, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University.
His law enforcement career started in the sheriff’s office on Oct. 25, 1982 as a jailer. He was a graduate of the FBI Academy, the Georgia Chiefs of Police Command College and Georgia State University International Law Enforcement Exchange Program’s 9th Delegation to Israel.
During his career, Johnson was an advocate for educating personnel. He developed and implemented a number of new policies and procedures to improve the sheriff’s office which are still in use.
He was appointed sheriff in 1999 and won a special election in November 1999 to fill the unexpired term for Sheriff Gene Hodge. He was re-elected sheriff of Muscogee County in 2000 and 2004. He lost his election bid in 2008 after details of a Dec. 10, 2003 shooting of a man by one of his deputies surfaced during the campaign.
Outside of the office, Johnson spent much of his life caring for his wife Emily, daughter Cassady and son Adam. He also helped his ill mother Margaret Burton Johnson along with mother and father-in-laws Duke and Lois Miller and friends.
In the kitchen, Johnson loved cooking. He also was a big supporter of University of Georgia football and was an avid reader of books on hunting, fishing and traveling. He would collect cool items from roadside antique shops.
Johnson was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret Johnson. Other than his wife of 35 years, Emily Ruth, survivors include Cassady Johnson Einglett (Bradley Einglett) of Hohenwald, Tenn., son Adam Bricen Johnson (Ashley Johnson) of Columbus, Ga., two grandchildren, Chloe Bella Johnson and Ryland Greighson.