Walla Walla resident, John "Jack" A. Johnson left for heaven on
November 22, 2011, at Washington Odd Fellows Home, to reunite with
his loving wife, Cleo M. Johnson. Jack spent 93 years on this earth and brought much joy to family,
friends, and all who knew him over the years. He was much loved will
be greatly missed by all.
Jack was born October 8, 1918, on the family ranch in Maxwell,
Nebraska. He attended schools in Maxwell and worked on the family
ranch until he married Cleo Conklin on June 16, 1940, in Oberlin,
Kansas. In 1942, he worked heavy construction on the Bonneville Dam in
Oregon. The Johnson and Conklin families moved to Milton-Freewater
in 1942 from North Platte, Nebraska.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, he worked for Walla Walla Mills for ten
years building logging and forest service roads in the Blue Mountains.
During this time period, the family lived in Milton-Freewater; however,
the family moved to Dayton, Washington to be closer to work. He fought
many large forest fires during this period of time in the Blue Mountains.
In 1965, he moved the family to Portland, Oregon and worked for
Overhead Door Company for twelve years and then worked for his son,
John, in construction management for ten years. He retired and moved
to Walla Walla in 1998. He lived at Odd Fellows Home in Walla Walla for
many years and is known by residents and staff for his friendly greetings
and cheerful, big smile. His wonderful memory of names and faces
endears him to all. He has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church
since 1998. In this church, he found a strong sense of community and
personal spiritual growth.
Jack enjoyed gardening, fishing, and traveling when time allowed. He
was very proud of his Swedish ancestors and treasured his trip to Sweden
in 1978 to visit the old family and their community. His forebears,
emigrants in the 1880s, homesteaded in Gothenberg, Nebraska. This
Swedish heritage was always considered with importance in his life.
Jack is survived by his children: John L. and his wife Bonnie Johnson
of Napa, California; Monte J. and her husband Darin Wilson of Meridian,
Idaho; Michael R. Johnson of Beaverton, Oregon; and Susan M. and her
husband Rob Truax of Boise, Idaho; his son-in-law, Doug Beckel of Walla
Walla; eleven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. Jack and
Cleo were very proud that all eleven of their grandchildren graduated
from college and many hold post-graduate degrees. He was preceded
in death by his wife, Cleo M. Johnson (married 66 years) in 2006; his
daughter, Connie M. Beckel in 2004; his sister, Mae Kennedy and his
brother, James Thomas Johnson.
The family-only graveside service and burial will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday,
December 3, 2011, at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery, Milton-Freewater,
Oregon. This will be followed by a memorial service, to which all are
welcome, at 1:00 p.m., on Saturday, December 3, 2011, at the Trinity
Lutheran Church, 109 S. Roosevelt Street, Walla Walla, Washington. Rev.
Stephen Juergensen will officiate. The pallbearers will be Jack's grandsons:
Christian Johnson, Mark Johnson, Michael Johnson, Scott Wilson,
Troy Beckel, Jordan Johnson, Rob Truax, Jr., and John Truax. Memorial
contributions may be made to either the Washington Odd Fellows Home
or the Trinity Lutheran Church through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt,
1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the
wonderful care given to their father by the nurses and staff of the
Washington Odd Fellows Home.
Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook