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5-17-09 Choyce Johnson Recognized Retired Oconee Commission Chairman, GBI Officer and State Patrolman

Choyce Johnson is a long time public servant and friend of many. He deserves to be recognized.

AVOC

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May 16, 2009

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Choyce Johnson Recognized – Retired Oconee Commission Chairman, GBI Officer and State Patrolman

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Choyce A. Johnson May 3, 2009

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It is fitting that Choyce A. Johnson be honored with a Georgia House Resolution.  Rep. Bob Smith made the presentation on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at Bethabara Church in the presence of family and friends.

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Georgia House Resolution

Johnson.Choyce.GA.House.Res.09.pdf x

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Rep. Bob Smith, Choyce Johnson, Denise Johnson Ogletree- Bethabara Church 5-3-09

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Choyce was married to the late Irene Johnson who died November 17, 2008.   They had four children: sons: Mark Anthony Johnson of Hoschton, Stanley Maurice Johnson of Oxford; daughters: Jeannine Media of Punta Gorda, FL and Denise Ogletree of Bogart with whom Choyce now resides.

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Prior to service as Oconee County BOC Chair, Choyce was in the Georgia State Patrol for many years.  Choyce was a friendly and popular person.  My first memory of him was in my High School Years, (1954-58), parked in front of the Old Watkinsville GYM in his Patrol Car wearing his wide brim hat and uniform.   Choyce was a physically big man and was an imposing & striking sight as a State Patrolman.    His pleasant personality and ability to get along with people helped him be very successful in law enforcement.

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Choyce later became an officer in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.   Choyce was involved in the much publicized murder investigation in 1970 of the death of Debra Ash of Bishop.  e was in and out of the Courthouse a lot in those days.   Around 1979, Betty and I attended his GBI retirement party at Poss’s Lakeview on Jennings Mill Road.

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Choyce was not retired long before friends and supporters encouraged him to run for Chairman of the County Commission in 1980.   He was elected and served two terms.    I was asked to serve as County Attorney and did so until I succeeded him as Chairman in 1989.

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Choyce Johnson was Oconee County Commission Chairman from January 1981 to December 31, 1988.   Choyce was progressive and during his two terms, Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) were approved by voters.  LOST brought badly needed sales tax revenue to the County General Fund.   During Choyce’s service, SPLOST built a new jail, paved a number of dirt roads, and started the Oconee Utility Department that helped the County get into supplying water and sewer service.

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Oconee County Jail built with first SPLOST

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During his County service, Choyce Johnson served on the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission (Chaired); the Board of Managers of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and on the Upper Oconee Basin Group that later evolved into the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority that built Bear Creek Reservoir in Jackson County, near Bogart.

Choyce with sons, daughter Denise and Mark’s daughters 5-3-09

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Choyce and Irene were good and friendly people.  We spent much time with them at Conventions, Meetings and other functions.    We continued to visit and keep up with them after Choyce’s retirement and my later retirement.   Recently, Choyce and I learned ‘we are a little kin’  because our ancestry has been traced to a common ancestor, Big Jim Delay of Statham.   Choyce laughs and says, “don’t tell folks”. 

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Choyce Johnson is a long time public servant and friend of many.  He deserves to be recognized.


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