LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Johnny Cantrell, current EMA director in Lawrence County died suddenly Friday morning after complications during a surgery Thursday.
The funeral service will be at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 4, 2020 at Moulton Memory Gardens with Caleb Chambers officiating.
“I’m really saddened and I’m shocked, and I know the county lost a really great benefit them," Eddie Hicks said.
Hicks, the Morgan County EMA director, was a mentor to Cantrell. Before becoming the EMA director in Lawrence County, Cantrell worked under Hicks in Morgan County.
“Johnny was the kind of person who would walk into a dreary room and he would brighten it up, or you’d be in a boring meeting and he’d come in and make you smile and laugh," Hicks explained.
Hicks says Cantrell’s upbeat personality was contagious and so was his work ethic.
“Johnny Cantrell was definitely one of the best in the state at his job. On top of that, a great person, a patriot. Served his country in the military and just have the ultimate respect for him," Proncey Robertson said.
The state representative worked alongside Cantrell and was also a close friend.
While remembering Cantrell, both Robertson and Hicks mention the December 2019 Town Creek tornadoes.
“Somebody who needs to be able to step up and coordinate a lot of agencies, a lot of moving parts, and not only in that instance, but have done relationship building before it gets to that. Johnny was really good at that," Robertson explained.
Robertson says Cantrell’s service in both Morgan and Lawrence counties will forever be remembered.
“It’s gonna be some pretty big shoes to fill, the fact he was able to go out and be on the same level as that person he was working with also a lot of empathy," Hicks said.
Rep. Robertson has put in a request to the Governor’s Office to fly all flags at half-staff in Lawrence County.
Our WAFF 48 News family wants to extend thoughts and prayers to the Cantrell family at this time.