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Respected business leader mourned
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Friends, family and colleagues are mourning the death of a well-respected business leader known for his generosity and civic involvement.

David E. Johnson, 72, died May 26 at his Dawsonville residence surrounded by his loving family.

"If you were around David very long, you knew he loved his family," said longtime friend and businessman Mark Byrd.

Johnson, who moved to Dawson County 17 years ago, also loved his community and supported many civic improvement efforts.

"The first word I used to describe David Johnson was generous. David was always generous to everyone and if there was a need in the community, his generosity was always there, and it was from the heart, too," Byrd said.

"With K.A.R.E. for Kids, anytime we needed anything, he would be there for us, and he would always ask what we needed."

A successful businessman who spent his career in the flexible packaging industry, Johnson opened a company called Flex-On in the mid-1970s. He acquired SleeveCo, one of the fastest growing shrink and stretch sleeve labels players in the market, in 1988 and within a few years moved the company to Dawsonville.

"When David brought SleeveCo to Dawsonville, he brought jobs to the local people and he was generous to all the people that worked with him," Byrd said.

He was also one of the founders of Chestatee State Bank and heavily involved with the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.

Local insurance agent and former chamber chairwoman Sharon Reagan knew him both as a business mentor and a friend.

"I learned a lot from him. Business to business, he was an inspiration and a lot of help to me. He was such a great business mentor and a very respected business man. His opinion was always very well respected," she said.

State Rep. Kevin Tanner said Johnson was someone he looked to for counsel and support over the years.

"He was a good, personal friend of mine and an asset to our community, both civically and through business, and is truly going to be missed," he said.

Funeral services were held May 29 at Bearden Funeral Home Chapel with the Dr. Jim Gaines officiating. Interment followed at Georgia National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to Can't Never Could, which provides financial support for brain cancer patients.