Rhudy Delaney Johnson

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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Rhudy Delaney Johnson, 81, of Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away Monday, July 1, 2024, at his residence. He was born in Banner Elk, N.C., to the late Carrick and Lucy Johnson.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Ruby Whitehead and Judy Lacy.

Rhudy was a graduate of Cloudland High School, Class of 1962, and an avid basketball player from 1958-1962. He finished his Cloudland High School basketball career with more than 1,600 points, leading the team in scoring as a sophomore, junior and senior. As a senior he posted three 30-point games. He scored 31 points at Sullivan, 35 points at Happy Valley and 44 points at Bluff City. At this time, his output against Bluff City represented a school record. 

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Rhudy was a two-time All-Watauga Conference pick during his junior and senior year. As a junior, he averaged 18.5 points a game during regular season play and reached double digits in all but two games that season. His top highlight was a 36-point performance versus Jonesborough. As a senior, he made the All-Watauga, Elizabethton Star All-Watauga and All-Johnson City invitational teams and was an honorable mention all-state. 

While a student, he spent a summer with his uncles in Atlanta and received his CDL. He maintained his CDL until he was 75; he loved driving big trucks. Rhudy was a serial entrepreneur, having owned two grocery stores in Roan Mountain (River Valley), Buggy Bath Car Wash, a trailer park, heavy equipment sales, RDJ Trucking, rental properties and Carso’s. He retired after 20 years from Biggers Bros. Institutional Foods-VP of Sales. He went on to become owner and operator of Elizabethton Lumber for over 20 years. 

During his career at Elizabethton Lumber he made a lot of friends: Dennis Guinn, Tommy Range and Darren Lacy as well as all his employees and customers.

Rhudy loved sports and was an avid Braves fan, UT football and basketball fan. He enjoyed watching Phil Mickelson play a round of golf on a Sunday afternoon. He played adult league basketball in Avery County up until his late 30’s, dunking on men half his age. He was inducted in the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Rhudy enjoyed opening his home on Wednesday nights to host the Elizabethton Cyclone Football offense dinners with his grandson, who was the quarterback for the Cyclones. 

Rhudy loved to travel with his wife Pat, along with his friends, Johnny, Gail, Charlie, Pat, Tommy and Lois. He was a member and Elder at Minneapolis Christian Church and a member of the National Guard Army. Rhudy was very proud of his hometown (Roan Mountain, Tennessee) and Cloudland High School.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 57 years, Pat Smith Johnson, of the home; two daughters, Jennifer Johnson of Elizabethton and Jessica Johnson of Dallas, Texas; two grandchildren, Sophie Everett and Carter Everett and fiancée Maggie of Elizabethton; a sister, Jody Smith and husband Malcolm of Roan Mountain; his beloved pets, Fred the cat, grand-pup, LaLa, and great-grand-pups, Duke and Sammy; and several nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate the life of Rhudy will be conducted at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, in the Chapel of Peace at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, with Mr. Jamie Shell and Dr. Bill McDonald officiating. Honorary pallbearers are Carter Everett, Nick Miller, Corey Russell, Cade Russell, Evan Perkins, Chandler Mullins and Darren Lacy. The family will receive friends between the hours of 5:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, prior to the service. Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to Cloudland High School to help students in need, C/O Shellie McKinney, 476 Cloudland Drive, Roan Mountain, TN 37687. Words of sympathy and comfort may be shared with the family by visiting our website at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com and clicking on share a memory under Rhudy’s obituary.

Tetrick Funeral Home of Elizabethton is honored to serve the family of Rhudy Delaney Johnson. Office Phone (423) 542-2232.