Johnston County Commissioner Tony Braswell Passes Away At Age 79

SMITHFIELD – One of the longest serving Johnston County Commissioners, Tony Braswell, passed away yesterday, Saturday, March 9. The Board of Commissioners expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of the dedicated public servant and Army veteran.


“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend, mentor, and fellow Commissioner. To me, Tony was the embodiment of a public servant,” Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Butch Lawter said in a statement. “Beginning with his military service, through his time as the Mayor and a Commissioner of the Town of Pine Level, and through his last days as a Johnston County Commissioner, he was serving others. I will miss having him to my right at our meetings. My prayers are for peace and comfort for his family during this difficult time.”

Commissioner Braswell was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2004 and served as Vice Chairman from 2013-2014 and Chairman from 2015-2016. He was reelected to the Board in 2018. Commissioner Braswell announced he would not seek reelection in August of last year. At the time he stated, “…I would not trade it for anything in the world. It has been my passion to help people, but the time has come… I want to spend more time with my family and do other things right now. I think the time is right.”

Commissioner Braswell served on numerous boards and committees during his time as an elected official. He was a member of the Community and Senior Services Board, North Carolina Veterans Affairs and Commissions, JCATS Board, and the Johnston County Firemen’s Association.

“I have served on the Board of Commissioners with Tony Braswell for almost 12 years,” said County Commissioner Ted Godwin. “We had a lot in common, both having grown up in Johnston County, serving in the military, and seeing eye-to-eye on many issues before the board. He had a true passion for veterans, the fire service, public safety, the Department of Social Services, and all things Johnston County. My heart goes out to his family. He was my friend and he will be missed by all.”

Johnston County Manager Rick Hester also spoke of his time working alongside Commissioner Braswell. “Mr. Braswell was a fine man, and friend to all. I have always had great respect for him. He will be deeply missed. His family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Commissioner Braswell served his community with pride and will be missed by his colleagues and friends throughout the state of North Carolina. Flags at County buildings will be lowered to half-staff this week.

Braswell Family Statements

“Tony came into my life at the time I needed someone the most. He provided me with love, patience, and kindness. Naturally, he became the love of my life. I was proud to find him providing the same love and care for our community. I want to thank everyone that has been supportive of my husband and stood by his side through his time serving the county. He will be deeply missed by myself, our family, and the large community he created around him,” said Nobie Braswell.

“In the community he was known as a dedicated public servant. To our family; he was Papa, Dad, and Uncle Tony. While he wore many hats, his priority was always family first. We thank the Johnston County Commissioners for the public display of respect. We also thank the community for the outpouring of love and support. When memorial plans are finalized, we will share that information,”  stated his son Todd Braswell. 


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