NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Friends and family said their goodbyes to Debra Johnson on Friday.
The Tennessee Department of Correction administrator was allegedly assaulted and killed by Curtis Watson, an inmate who escaped from a West Tennessee prison, on Aug. 7.
Watson was caught Sunday after a five-day, multi-agency manhunt gripped the state.
Johnson had worked for the department for 38 years, rising through the ranks from correctional officer to her current role of administrator, and she was reportedly planning to retire later this year.
"Ms. Johnson was an experienced and knowledgeable corrections professional who was positive and supportive with everyone she encountered," TDOC said on its website. "Her fellow employees looked to her as a mentor and role model and nominated her numerous times for recognition of her outstanding contributions to the department. She was a co-worker, mother, sister, and friend and will be missed more than we can express."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Debra Johnson's family. She leaves behind two sons, a daughter, her mother and two sisters.
Funeral arrangements for the Tennessee Department of Correction Administrator were announced Saturday.
The funeral service was held at 12:00 p.m. CDT at The Temple Church in Nashville.
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