Family and friends will gather Thursday afternoon to remember the life and service of Correctional Officer Ron 'R-J' Johnson. Johnson went to work at the South Dakota State Penitentiary last April 12, his 63rd birthday, not knowing he would be the target of two inmates trying to escape.
But Johnson's family is not focusing on the events that happened a year ago. Instead, they're focusing on the caring and trustworthy man RJ was. And since with the day being his birthday, they still plan to celebrate.
"You just hear senior correctional officer RJ Johnson you know. He was a loving husband, a great pappa, a good dad. He's a person. He's a person, not just a name," Lynette Johnson, Ron Johnson's wife, said.
A flag with Johnson's picture hangs outside the Johnson home. Friends gathered there Thursday morning to celebrate RJ's life.
Thursday afternoon, the South Dakota State Penitentiary will name a building in his honor to mark the one year anniversary. KELOLAND News will have extensive coverage of that event and bring you more from the Johnson family.