Tuesday, February 27, 2024

After 45 years with city of Granbury, Johnson heads home to Tolar

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Terry Johnson has officially left the building.

Last election cycle, the longtime Tolar mayor retired from public life. Last week, he retired from the city of Granbury, where he had worked for 45 years.

City staff and family members packed the council chambers at Granbury City Hall for Johnson’s retirement party. The room was so full of well-wishers that City Manager Chris Coffman regretted not having booked the Lake Granbury Conference Center.

Johnson officially began working for the city in the electric department at age 19, but actually did work prior to that, starting at around 14. He helped his dad, E.W. “Tony” Johnson, read meters. The elder Johnson led Granbury’s street department for 30 years.

As a young teen, the hard hats worn by work crews were large on him, Johnson indicated. He laughed as he recalled how the men would place a hand on top of his head and spin the hard hat.

During his time with the city of Granbury, Johnson also worked in the “mechanic shop” and in building maintenance. At the time of his retirement, he was assistant public works director.

Now that he is retired, Johnson could sleep in but his internal clock still has him rising before dawn, just as he did when he would stop at his mother’s house to prepare breakfast for her before heading to work to have coffee made before other employees reported for duty.

Johnson’s mother recently passed away. He has been spending his first days of retirement settling her estate.

Over the years, Johnson also lost co-workers through death or retirement. He said that he viewed his colleagues at the city as a second family.

“You spend more waking hours with these people than you do your own family,” he said.

Johnson and his wife Kathy have four grown children: daughters Terri Sue Robertson and Jessica Johnson and sons James Daniel Hunter and Tony Johnson. They also have seven grandchildren.

Kathy and several other family members attended the retirement party, where there were snacks and cake along with a lot of laughs, hugs, and handshakes.

“I’ve had a good time,” Johnson stated of his many years with the city.