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Local judge Remembered For Selflessly Serving… and “Get Yourself a Doughnut”

There are plenty of tributes and condolences being sent via social media to the family of Carroll County’s long-time chief magistrate judge who passed away Saturday morning – just two weeks after turning 57 years old.

Al was born on March 12, 1965 in Carrollton, the son of the late William P. Johnson and the late Ramona Teal Johnson. He graduated from Carrollton High School in 1983 and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia. Al graduated from John Marshall Law School and began practicing law in Carrollton in 1995. In 1998, he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of retiring Chief Magistrate Judge Richard Smith. Al was then elected by the citizens of Carroll County to continue as their Chief Magistrate Judge for six consecutive terms, most recently in 2020. He was never opposed for re-election.

As the Chief Magistrate, Al was a pioneer in the mediation of civil disputes, creating the Carroll County Mediation Office that later expanded to serve all courts. He was famous for bringing people together at his barbeques and fish fries or over doughnuts that he would bring to his early morning first appearance hearings.

Al selflessly served his family, friends, community and complete strangers with his time, energy and generosity. Through his attention and kindness, Al made it a priority to recognize the good he saw in everyone he encountered.

Al is survived by his wife Kelsey Johnson, his sister Angi Everett (Robert Friend Everett), several nieces and a nephew.

The family will receive friends at Martin & Hightower Funeral Home on Friday, April 8, 2022 from 4pm – 6pm. A private family service will be held in Al’s honor at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to Partners Advancing Student Success, Inc. (PASS) or to the American Cancer Society.

Messages of condolences can be sent to the family at www.martin-hightower.com.

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