Joseph Gerald “Jerry” Johnson, mostly known throughout his life to all his friends and work associates as “Jerry,” and to his family as “Dad,” “Padre,” “Grandpa J,” “Pops and “Uncle Jerry,” passed away on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016.
He was born Oct. 26, 1939, in Prescott, the second son born to Rachel (nee Thompson) and Lars Marcus “Swede” Johnson, who preceded him in death.
He was also preceded in death by his wife, Judith Turley Johnson, whom he loved and cherished for more than 50 years.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Hudson Johnson, their six children and their spouses, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, which totals 31.
Jerry loved sports as a youth and competed with his older brother, Lars Marcus Johnson II, and especially excelled on the football field as a speedster running back. Work in road construction took his family all over Arizona and parts of New Mexico, where he attended 27 different schools from the time he started grade school until he finished high school in Wickenburg, graduating in 1957. During his last two years of high school he was able to remain in Wickenburg, as he lived with the Paul and Beth Ellsworth family. The Ellsworth family was a great influence on his life, as they activated him in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also introduced him a few years later to Judy.
Jerry and Judy were married and sealed for time and all eternity on Aug. 16, 1960, in the Mesa Temple.
Their oldest child, Joline, was born in Wickenburg. She is married to Richard King, and their family includes Matthew and Kirsten, and great-grandson Nolan King, Jennifer and Cody Crawford, and great-grandson Cohen, and Bryant and Morgan King.
Todd was born in Holbrook. His family includes wife Janis, Chanelle and Eric Crocker, and great-grandchildren Nixon and Kennedy, and their other grandchildren, Tyler, Blake and Celeste Johnson.
Janea was born in Casa Grande and is married to Stuart Waite, with grandson Jaymison.
Daughter Joy was also born in Casa Grande and is married to Michael By Whiting, with granddaughter Cambria.
Judy passed away in 2011 after a long and courageous battle with various diseases that made Jerry her primary caregiver for more than 14 years.
Judy and Jerry raised their children in northern Arizona, primarily in Williams and Snowflake. In Williams, he served as branch president for many years. In Snowflake, he served in many callings, including bishopric and youth leader.
He loved the outdoors, including water skiing, snow skiing, hunting and especially fishing with his buddies, who called themselves the Fibbin’ Five.
In 2012, Jerry married his children’s “Second Mom,” Marilyn Hudson (nee Bergman). With the addition of Marilyn, the family grew to include Michael and Danette Hudson, and grandson Brendan, and Michelle and Daniel King, and grandson Benjamin.
One of Jerry’s greatest accomplishments was a mission to Martin’s Cove/Willie Crossing in Wyoming, where he served with his sweet companion Marilyn. Marilyn has been gracious, caring, kind and loving to the family. She was a devoted companion and by Jerry’s side every day during these last few challenging weeks.
We will miss you, Padre. Until we meet again at Jesus’ feet. Your loving family.