User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


72° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Family Celebrates And Remembers RJ

April 12, 2012, 5:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Family Celebrates And Remembers RJ
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Balloons and memories filled the day that marked the one year anniversary of South Dakota Correctional Officer Ronald 'RJ' Johnson's death.

Johnson was killed on his birthday a year ago when two inmates tried to escape from the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Instead of remembering the events of that day, Johnson's family focused on the man who would have been 64 years old Thursday.

Johnson has two children and six grandchildren who call RJ their hero. Thursday that hero was celebrated for his kind heart, caring spirit and his more than two decades serving the state as a correctional officer.

A flag bearing RJ's image hangs outside the home where his wife lives and where his children and grandchildren made so many memories.

"The house, the things around him, makes me feel at peace a little bit that I have those things. They mean a lot to me," RJ's wife, Lynette Johnson, said.

Pictures of RJ and his family adorn the house a year after he was killed during his shift at the penitentiary. That day was also his birthday and Thursday, family and friends gathered at the home to celebrate.

"We have a lot of support from a lot of friends. They're great and if there is anything I need or need help, they're right there," Lynette said.

And they were there Thursday, boarding a bus for the hour-long trip to the cemetery where RJ is buried. With balloons and birthday cards, they celebrated the life of the dedicated family man.

"The kids miss their 'papa.' Miss Ashlen (Johnson’s granddaughter) made a card and she put RJ on it and she decided she's going to put it on a balloon when we let the balloons go off because they wanted to know how papa is going to get his balloons," Lynette said.

And as the balloons were released, RJ's family was able to focus on the correctional officer and not the events that happened a year ago.

"We keep going over it, what happened, you forget the person. To have it all done, I'm never going to say their names again. It's dad. He's our hero. He'll live forever that way and I hope everybody else can see it that way," RJ's daughter, Toni Schafer, said.

Lynette says she gave RJ an extra kiss a year ago because it was his birthday, and she says she's glad she did because it was the last one she would ever give him.

Donations are currently being accepted for the RJ Johnson Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank to help the family with traveling costs to go to Washington, D.C. and Florida this summer where memorials will be dedicated in honor of the fallen correctional officer.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Jesus Take The Wheel

9/25/2014 10:00 PM

Miracle on the highway: that's how many people are describing a bad crash between a semi-truck and car in which no one was killed.

Full Story | Watch
Iowa Teen Dies Two Days After Fight At School

9/28/2014 11:42 AM

Prosecutors may file additional charges because a western Iowa teen died two days after suffering a head injury during a fight at school.

Full Story
Brandon Woman Seriously Hurt In I-229 Crash

9/30/2014 5:00 PM

Two people are hurt, one seriously, after a chain-reaction crash in eastern Sioux Falls involving a semi-truck and four other vehicles.

Full Story | Watch
Police: Missing Boy Shows Up At School

9/26/2014 6:39 AM

Sioux Falls police say a missing boy showed up for school Friday morning.  

Full Story
Emergency Crews Respond To Crash On Interstate 229

9/30/2014 11:45 AM

One woman is seriously hurt after a five-vehicle crash on Interstate 229 Tuesday morning.

Full Story


Events