IMAGES | Friends and loved ones pay last respects to Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson
After a week that included accusations of molestation, then a shocking suicide, State Representative Dan Johnson was laid to rest Monday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a week that included accusations of molestation, then a shocking suicide, State Rep. Dan Johnson was laid to rest Monday.
It was standing room only inside the small Heart of Fire sanctuary, with bikers mingling with the handful of state lawmakers that attended. Hundreds of people showed up to pay their last respects, and all of them said Johnson was far from the shady character he was often portrayed to be.
Johnson took his own life last week, days after other lawmakers called for his resignation following accusations that he molested a 17-year-old girl at the church in 2012.
He was never formally charged.
Like Johnson himself, his funeral was unorthodox: part church service, part rock concert. Johnson’s oldest son, Boaz, was among those paying tribute.
"Everything he had -- was only love," Boaz said. "And God only has love for us."
Johnson’s casket was surrounded by mementos of his life, including his motorcycle. Church members honored him as a pastor
Sen. Dan Seum noted Johnson’s conservative record during his one year in the state House.
"That's my hero laying up there," Seum said. "And when I grow up, I want to be just like him."
Rebecca Johnson, his wife of 31 years, recalled how they got engaged on their first date and thanked everyone for coming.
"I will miss him terribly, but I want to thank you for your generosity of love," Rebecca said. "It has meant the world to myself and my family, and I just want to thank you for celebrating him."
And it was a celebration, with only passing references made to the controversies surrounding Johnson and his subsequent suicide.
"That's not the issue," said Bishop George Augustus Stallings. "The issue is this was a man who not only loved life but lived to love."
As Johnson left his church for the final time, his wife and son followed on the back of Johnson’s Harley.
Johnson was buried at the Mount Washington Cemetery. There will be a special election to replace him, and Johnson’s widow says she wants to run.
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