John Nall, longtime SLO County Planning Department employee, dies at 56

Longtime county environmental planning expert John Nall, 56, of Atascadero died this week, family friends and co-workers said.

Nall, a principal environmental specialist in the county Planning Department, died about 2 a.m. Wednesday, said Lauren Lajoie, a longtime friend of the Nall family. He had been treated for esophageal cancer at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton for the past three months, Lajoie said.

Nall was an avid fitness and outdoor enthusiast. Lajoie said the two families had camped every year at Plaskett Creek in Big Sur since 1989. Nall also had extensive experience hiking throughout the Sierra.

“He loved to camp, hike and backpack,” she said. “Everyone called him Auntie Johnnie because he looked out for everyone. He was just the nicest man.”

County Supervisor Bruce Gibson described Nall’s passing as “a very great loss.” Nall’s wife, Karen, is a senior planner with the county.