It is fitting that the final post here should be the note I receive from Capt. Michael Smith each year around the anniversary of Johnny's death. Capt. Smith was Johnny's Captain and immediate supervisor at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office where Johnny continued to work up until the day he died.
I have only met Capt. Smith in person on one occasion, but we have shared a friendship over the years since Johnny's death via e-mail. His letters have always moved me, and his heartfelt words in Johnny's memory speak volumes about the man he is and of the man that Johnny was.
- Dick Bourne
February 13, 2016
Hope all is well. I think about this guy all the time.
My plan is to retire this year for sure, just don’t know when yet. My friend Johnny Weaver was working just a little longer so he could retire with medical benefits.
Some of the information Johnny shared I will keep with me because some are still alive. It is not as much as what Johnny did, it was just how he did it and how he built friendships and what they meant to him. It’s just not like that anymore in the world we live in.
I don’t really think it is fair to say Johnny worked for me in his career. I wish and think we all worked for him I only hope he thinks that. He was only going to work a little longer and then retire.
He was still dedicated to exercising and working hard. When we went into his house and to the right at the end of the hallway was a closet. There was something different but it was kind of dark and as we got closer you could see a bar across the bottom of it. When you looked on the floor in front of this door where there was supposed to be carpet there was a big hole, well a hole were the carpet was worn and gone. It was like this because that is where Johnny did his sit-ups everyday still staying in shape and hanging maintaining his health so he could hang with the young guys. There was other clues exhibited to tell us he must have recently come back from his morning exercise routine when it all happened. Many don’t realize at his age he was in extremely abundant shape. We believe by the things we observed and found that he was up and out early that morning and exercising real hard I would bet the farm on it.
I will cherish his friendship the remainder of my life and I am gracious for having the greatest employee and friend one could have had for the rest of my life.
How lucky I have been. I miss you, Sleeper Man.
Captain Michael Smith
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office