An Aberdeen “guitar maestro” who told pals on Facebook he had a bad dose of the flu died in hospital the following day.
Dad-of-two Andy Johnson, 53, passed away on Sunday after being admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Today his wife Annette paid tribute to her husband of 25 years and said she and their two children, James, 22, and Chloë, 17, were “totally devastated” without him.
In a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon, Andy wrote: “Oh well I went up to ARI this morning G-Meds. Full blown influenza – absolute hell.”
Annette said: “Andy thought he had a touch of flu. He hadn’t been well for a couple of days, but unfortunately it turned out to be septicaemia.
“He was rushed to hospital on Sunday lunchtime.
“ICU (intensive care unit) were fantastic, but I think septicaemia is one of those things that if you’ve got it, your chances are pretty slim.
“At 9.30pm, he died.
“We woke up thinking it would be a normal Sunday, but by the evening everything had changed.”
Andy passed away with Annette, James, Chloë and his two sisters, Julie and Hazel, by his bedside.
Annette said: “We’re totally devastated without him. We can’t believe what’s happened. He was such a family man.”
Originally from Portsmouth, Andy moved to Daviot in his early teens, and began learning guitar while attending Inverurie Academy.
He would later train to become a technician and worked for Grampian Regional Council until deciding to follow his dream to become a guitar instructor in the early 90s.
He graduated from the Trinity College of Music in 1993 with an LTCL diploma to launch his new career.
His latest role saw him part of the instrumental music service for Aberdeenshire Council, working in places including Portlethen, Stonehaven, Laurencekirk, Aboyne and Banchory.
He was also a well-known performer in the area having been a key member of the rock band Big Foot, which retired last year after 31 years of gigging.
Annette said: “He was very dedicated to his pupils, including organising workshops with well-known guitarists. He didn’t have to do that. He did it because he loved it.
“With Big Foot, he was very well known across Aberdeenshire and had a big following.
“He was also a classical solo performer. Recently he had been playing in Musa, but has gone to gigs in Ireland as well as guitar festivals in the south west of England. He also performed recitals for special occasions.
“He was a maestro on the guitar.”
A Facebook memorial page for Andy has been inundated with loving messages from friends, pupils and fans.
Annette said: “What is overwhelming is the love and support that people are giving us. I knew he was popular but gosh, it’s exceeded any expectation.
“Andy had a great sense of humour, he was renowned for putting light-hearted and allegedly funny things on Facebook. When I asked him about it, he said ‘life’s hard enough out there, if it makes them laugh it’s great’. That’s what he was like.
“Everyone says he was a real gentleman, he was really humorous and he was just an amazing guitarist who was so inspiring to people.
“It’s really heart-warming to know he was so loved.”
She said her husband was very proud of their children, and was happy to see his creative talent being passed on to James, a piano and guitar player, and Chloë, who is passionate about singing and acting.
All friends are respectfully invited to a celebration of Andy’s life at Kaimhill Chapel, Garthdee, on Wednesday, June 15, at 1pm.