Whitney Owen Johnson, 91, of Groveland, passed away June 6, 2011, at Bingham Memorial Hospital of old age.
He was born Nov. 6, 1919, in the farming community of Groveland. His parents, Michael Johnson Jr. and Elsie Mae Paskett Johnson, purchased an 80-acre dairy farm in Groveland where he would live and work for half his life. They also raised apples on the dairy farm. The Johnsons raised potatoes, beets, hay and snakes on a second farm at the end of Bond Road near the lavas.
Whitney’s education included eight grades at Groveland, graduating from Blackfoot High School in 1937, a year of college in Logan, Utah, and photography School in Salt Lake City.
As a young man, his passions were dancing and horses. As a middle-aged man his loves were western novels and horses. As he aged, he loved making Americana crafts on a table saw and wood lathe. Whitney lived life with a sense of humor.
During World War II Retnitus Pigmentosa kept him from enlisting in the military. His service to the war effort was growing food for the troops and the country. For a few months he worked in a factory in Inglewood, Calif., building B-52 bombers.
On May 12, 1944, he married Donna Jane Lott, “the prettiest girl in Groveland,” in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They had three daughters.
At the age of 59, the Idaho Commission for the Blind offered him the Atomic Energy Commission snack bar in Idaho Falls. For 20 years Whitney provided sandwiches, beverages, snacks, and kind words to the government workers. As an activist for the visually impaired, he spent many years serving in regional and local offices for the National Federation of the Blind.
Whitney is a High Priest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his youth, he served a stake mission. He served for decades as a home teacher. He considers his family to be his greatest accomplishment and blessing.
He is survived by his wife, Donna of Groveland; daughters, Kaye (Bob) Aubrey of Groveland, Sharlene (Hugh) Sandow of Thomas, and Ruth Ann Johnson of Blackfoot; grandchildren Rob (Lauri) Aubrey, Garren (Debra) Aubrey, Shelley Aubrey, B.J. (Shantel) Stinger, Markell Fresh, and Jennifer (Donny) Flores; 14 great- grandchildren; seven great-great grandchildren, and his sister Anna (Joseph) Baldree of Groveland.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Steve Aubrey; brothers, Homer P. Johnson, Louis E. Johnson, Stuart P. Johnson, and David E. Johnson; and sisters, Marjorie Holman and Elinor Stuart.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2011, at the Groveland LDS 2nd Ward (155 North 380 West, Blackfoot) with Bishop Brent Higginson officiating. The family will visit with friends on Friday from 10-10:45 a.m. prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in Groveland Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com .
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