to feature portraits
of 72 honorees
By Venita Fritz
Tribune-Courier General Manager
BENTON– A Marshall County boy who died in an ATV accident in July, 2008 is among 70 honorees, who in their deaths gave life to others through organ donation. Andrew Johnson’s photograph will be displayed with the others on a float in the 2012 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
Andrew Johnson was just 11 and a fifth grader at Benton Elementary School when he was involved in the accident. The only child of Susan and Kevin Johnson, of Benton, Andrew was a gifted athlete who could light up a room with his smile, according to many who knew him. When Andrew was pronounced brain dead, his parents decided to donate his organs, knowing that their son would have wanted to help others.
“We know that Andrew is honored because though our tragedy and having to let him go, the outcome has spread into such a positive new form of life through his donation of five lifesaving organs to others. Our family does have peace and comfort in knowing that Andrew lives on in others,” said Andrew’s mom, Susan Johnson.
Members of the Johnson family will travel to Pasadena to decorate Andrew’s floragraph, which will be placed on the Donate Life Float. They will finish the floragraph at a special ceremony to be held on December 13 at Marshall County High School, where Andrew’s fellow classmates are now freshmen.
The portraits of 72 donors from 31 states, Canada, Japan and Taiwan will be included on the float entitled One More Day. Their portraits, each made entirely of organic floral materials, will be featured on huge floral timepieces.
Susan and Kevin Johnson have also established a scholarship for the class of 2015 at Marshall County High School in memory of Andrew. Anyone wishing to purchase a t-shirt, from which all proceeds of the sale will benefit the fund is asked to contact Susan at 703-1625.