70ºF

The Houstonians we lost in 2019

KPRC weatherman Doug Johnson sits in front of a weather radar screen in this photo from the KPRC archives.
KPRC weatherman Doug Johnson sits in front of a weather radar screen in this photo from the KPRC archives.

Here, we look back at the Houstonians we lost in 2019.

Longtime KPRC2 weatherman Doug Johnson

KPRC weatherman Doug Johnson sits in front of a weather radar screen in this photo from the KPRC archives.
KPRC weatherman Doug Johnson sits in front of a weather radar screen in this photo from the KPRC archives. (KPRC)

Longtime KPRC2 weatherman Doug Johnson died Thursday, January 3, 2019. He was 79.

He joined Houston’s first television station in 1962. He became a household name while co-anchoring the "Scene at 5" newscast with Ron Stone.

NASA’s first flight director Christopher Kraft

photo

Legendary NASA flight director Christopher Kraft died. He was 95.

Kraft was NASA's first flight director and ran Mission Control during the Apollo program

Houston philanthropist Lester Smith

Lester and Sue Smith walked the red carpet at An Evening with Disco Legends, a dance party fundraiser that benefited Texas Children’s Cancer Center. (Photo: John R Lewis Photography)
Lester and Sue Smith walked the red carpet at An Evening with Disco Legends, a dance party fundraiser that benefited Texas Children’s Cancer Center. (Photo: John R Lewis Photography) (©2012 John R Lewis Photography)

Legendary Houston oilman and philanthropist Lester Smith died in his sleep. He was 76. Smith had an ongoing battle with cancer and received a double lung transplant in 2016.

Smith made his millions in the oil and gas business.

John Walton of popular Houston radio show ‘Walton and Johnson’

John Walton
John Walton (KPRC2)

John Walton, co-host of Houston-based radio show "Walton and Johnson" died on July 1, 2019. Walton battled with several medical issues and had been receiving treatment in June.

Newly elected Harris County Judge Cassandra Hollemon

A photo of Cassandra Hollemon.
A photo of Cassandra Hollemon. (KPRC2)

Newly-elected Harris County Judge Cassandra Hollemon died on February 11, 2019 at the age of 57.

Hollemon's passing came just weeks after taking over the bench in Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 12. Officials said she was suffering with undisclosed health issues. Hollemon was sworn into office on Jan. 1.

Tiffany Smith, wife of Former Texans GM Rick Smith

Former Texans General Manager Rick Smith and his wife, Tiffany.
Former Texans General Manager Rick Smith and his wife, Tiffany.

Tiffany Smith, the wife of former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith, passed away from breast cancer on Thursday.

Smith took a leave of absence from the team just after the 2017 season ended, when he announced his wife had cancer.

George Foreman’s daughter, Freeda Foreman

31 Mar 2000: Freeda Foreman poses before her scheduled fight which was cancelled for medical reasons at the Regent Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandatory Credit: Harry How/ALLSPORT
31 Mar 2000: Freeda Foreman poses before her scheduled fight which was cancelled for medical reasons at the Regent Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandatory Credit: Harry How/ALLSPORT (Getty Images)

Freeda Foreman, daughter of iconic boxer George Foreman, was found dead on at an Atascocita home on March 8, 2019. She was 42. Officials with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office later ruled her death a suicide.

She followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a professional boxer in 2000 but later retired with a pro record of 5-1.

Former Galveston County Sheriff Joe Max Taylor

Joe Max Taylor (Photo: Galveston County Sheriff's Office)
Joe Max Taylor (Photo: Galveston County Sheriff's Office)

Former Galveston County Sheriff Joe Max Taylor died on February 10, 2019.

Taylor served as sheriff of Galveston County from 1981 to 2000. The Galveston Law Enforcement Facility bears his name on the entrance.