This story has been updated.
Nate Johnson, a prominent staffer with the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, died at 52 years old on Tuesday, according to the group.
“No words can adequately express our shock and sadness at Nate’s death or our gratitude for having had the opportunity to know and work with Nate,” CCAR wrote in a Facebook post.
Johnson was the VP government affairs director for the organization. Laura Crowther, chief executive officer of CCAR, said Johnson’s sister had arrived in town on Tuesday afternoon for a week-long visit. But on Wednesday morning, she called the group to report his death.
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“We certainly loved Nate like he was our family,” Crowther said. “He was our family, you know.”
Johnson was part of several local projects and events, helping to raise around $15,000 for Savannah’s Playground, helping launch the Plaza City Market street fair near Nance Plaza and working with Myrtle Beach on a study of walkability last year, Crowther said.
He was also a key figure in the local political landscape.
“Nate Johnson was a passionate advocate for the real estate industry in every sense of the word,” Brad Dean, the president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said in an emailed statement on Thursday.
“[H]e was an ardent follower of politics at the local, state and national level, and kept a step ahead of legislation that could impact the real estate industry in our area. He was a gracious and optimistic leader,” Dean wrote.
Johnson was also a fund raiser for the Realtor Political Action Committee (or RPAC), which supports political candidates “who are Realtor allies,” according to the group’s website. The site indicates its fundraising was aimed 70 percent at state and local races, and 30 percent at federal races.
Johnson joined CCAR in 2013, moving to Myrtle Beach from Minnesota. He is survived by two children, Crowther said.
Angela Fabbri, the communications director for CCAR, said the group will hold a “celebration of life” on Monday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 951 Shine Ave. in Myrtle Beach.