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Community icon leaves charitable legacy

Mary and Johnny Gonzales are shown being interviewed at a TV station on Sept.1st, 1984. Born into poverty, Johnny Gonzales was widely known in Roswell for organizing holiday and back-to-school giveaways, and known statewide for his prison ministry work. (Submitted Photo)

The holiday season was always a busy time for Johnny Gonzales. After organizing drives for Thanksgiving dinners, he turned his charitable enthusiasm to gathering Christmas presents for needy children. While the year’s various holidays kept him busy, distributing presents to wide-eyed children at Christmastime was perhaps his biggest reward, like he was a fun-loving kid himself — all over again.