Johnn E. Mazzotti, 74, of Taylorville, died at 10:17 a.m., Monday, June 19, 2017 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital ER. He was born on November 4, 1942 in Taylorville, the son of Joseph and Norma June (Cook) Mazzotti.


Johnn’s career in radio began at the age of 15 at WTIM Radio in Taylorville. He was best known as Johnny Payola. He spun platters at sock hops and many high school afterglows. He also played for dancing on the square at different festivals. Johnn graduated from Taylorville High School with the class of 1960. He met his high school sweetheart, Becky Brooks, and they were married in 1963. They moved to Morris, IL where he became a partner in the radio station there. Shortly after, they moved to Jacksonville, IL, where he sold advertising at WLDS Radio. When Keith Mayor built a beautiful TV station in Jacksonville, he asked Johnn to be their sports director. After so many years in broadcasting, Johnn decided on a totally different career as a State Investigator with the Secretary of State Department of Police, retiring after 25 years of service. Mr. Mazzotti was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. When he wasn’t working, he could often be found having coffee at the Country Kitchen, taking a walk in the park looking for change and taking car rides with his dog, Mia, or playing the slot machines. At home, he enjoyed taking care of his yard, tinkering on his car while listening to the oldies, and he especially treasured spending time with his family. He will be dearly missed by his friends and his family.


Along with his wife of almost 54 years, Mr. Mazzotti is survived by his children: Michelle “Shelli” Smith (husband, Marty) of Taylorville; Lori Hart (husband, David) of Taylorville; grandchildren: Zach Smith (wife, Sammie Jo) of Chesapeake, Virginia; Morgan Smith of Collinsville; Jordan Foor of Taylorville; Victoria Hart of Taylorville; sister-in-law: Susan Pearce of Taylorville; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.


He was preceded in death by his parents; sister: Vikki Mazzotti; mother and father-in-law: Maxine and Joe Brooks; and brother-in-law: Jack Pearce.


Mr. Mazzotti will be cremated and the family will host a celebration of life at a later date. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Johnn, or condolences to the family, may be shared online at

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