Beloved "Courthouse Candy Man" dies after battle with cancer

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The man known in Houston as the "Courthouse Candy Man" has died, Eyewitness News learned this morning.

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A hospice worker said Rick Johnson died at 3:30am. He was 59 years old.

Johnson, who had been suffering from colon cancer, chose to have his remains cremated.

Johnson was known as a positive force in downtown Houston. People often heard him shouting, "Don't worry, be happy," as he sold candy to people headed to court.

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Memorial outside courthouse where the Candyman used to sell M&M's

In recent weeks, Johnson was the center of a support campaign on GoFundMe to help with his home care. Lawyers who knew him, as well as others in the community pitched in to help, raising more than $30,000.

Speaking from his bedside at the time, Johnson said he was overwhelmed by the support.

"I ain't through crying. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Never in a million years did I think I affect so many people," Johnson said. "Don't worry. Be happy. Be happy. Don't worry. Jesus has your back."

Reporter Steve Campion asked, "Is that your motto?"

"Till the day I die. Till the day I die," Johnson said.

It's yet to be determined what groups will receive all the money that was raised for him. We'll update this story when we know more.
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