Walter Eugene "Gene" Johnston III, a former Greensboro businessman who served one term in Congress representing the area in the early 1980s, has died.

A Winston-Salem native, Johnston graduated from Wake Forest University with an undergraduate degree in accounting and a law degree, according to his obituary in the Tampa Bay Times. He has a home in Greensboro but he and his wife have spent the majority of their time at their home in St. Petersburg, Florida, according to the obituary.

After school, Johnston moved to Greensboro with his family and pursued careers in law, business, real estate, and politics.

A Republican, Johnston beat Democrat L. Richardson Preyer, a 12-year incumbent, for the U.S. House 6th District seat in 1980. Two years later, Democrat Robin Britt ousted Johnston.

Johnston was a founder of Hope Harbor in Greensboro, a home for men recovering from addictions, and served as chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, according to the obituary.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, four adult children, eight grandchildren and his sister.

Services are planned for Saturday in St. Petersburg. A second memorial service will be held in North Carolina at a later date.

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