The late Harrold Johnson, a graduate of Dalton High School, had worked for three years in the steel mills of Canton before coming to Bluffton. He played sandlot football and baseball in Wayne and Stark counties and for a time played on the semipro Canton Bulldogs football team.
“I had been used to a rather rough and tumble type of life,” Johnson recalled. “My first thought of Coach Burcky was that he didn’t know much about football. I soon learned I was very, very wrong. His great sincerity and understanding had a great influence on my life.”
A.C. Burcky remembered how he could always count on Johnson. As a freshman, he was noted for playing every position at one time or another. The following year he settled into the center position, which he held for three years. He was also team captain for two years.
In addition to football, Johnson was an excellent pitcher, according to Burcky, who claims Johnson was confident in his ability as every good pitcher should be.
Johnson, who had no idea he would ever graduate, did so in 1935 with a degree in biology.
While he gave credit to many for helping and guiding him at Bluffton, he acknowledged Burcky as having the greatest lasting influence. “He taught me the importance of being a gentleman while playing as hard as I knew I could. I respect him as much as anyone I have known in my life,” says Johnson.
Following his graduation, he taught and coached for six years in the Dalton and Orrville schools. In 1945 he joined the Will-Burt Co., where he retired in 1975 as vice president. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Orrville, the Exchange Club and the Chamber of Commerce; a charter member of the Orrville United Way; and former secretary of the Orrville-Wayne Industrial Council.