A table once full of tools and manned by a gentleman with a big smile was replaced by a solemn memorial for Rino (Ray) Johnson yesterday at the Hillhurst/Sunnyside flea market.
Hundreds of visitors filed through the community centre, filling the table with flowers, chocolates and cards to the family — paying their respects to a man remembered as a kind soul.
Neighbour Dave Budnyk, who often crossed paths with Johnson, said Ray embodied the kind words others shared about him. “He was a very nice man, always willing to help. And we’ll miss him.”
Budnyk said Johnson was friendly towards Budnyk’s foster kids and had “great garage sales.”
By early afternoon, several pages in a memorial book had been filled with words of comfort for the family, as well as disgust towards what befell the 77-year-old man. Johnson was was found murdered in an industrial park near Ramsay on Feb. 1.
Earlier this week, Jason and Tosha Hubler were arrested after they were allegedly found travelling in Johnson’s truck. Both were charged with first-degree murder and theft-related offences on Saturday.
Friends of Johnson’s at the flea market said that the same couple came to visit the man at his booth, which he had been operating for 15 years, several weeks ago.
Police believe Johnson was targeted as a result of a visit with the couple at their Bridgeland home on Jan. 30.