Marion Eugene Johnson, age 89, passed away peacefully on December 22, 2016 in Emmett, Idaho. Marion was born in Perryton, Texas, June 30, 1927 to Alex Alexander Johnson and Dora Clementine Copeland Johnson. He was the youngest of seven children; brothers Ray Truitt, Glen Wade, Sherwood Alexander, and Kermit Lawrence, sisters Wilma Woodrow “Woodie” Johnson Conner, and Faye Delle Johnson Carlson.
The Johnsons, moved from Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, in 1915 to the Texas panhandle where they purchased land, built the Johnson homestead where they became known for their Hereford cattle. Born into the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era, one of Marion’s most vivid memories was helping his mother shovel wheelbarrow loads of dirt from the house after the suffocating dust storms. Despite living in the heart of the Dust Bowl, the Johnson family managed to hold on to their ranching operation.
Along with his brothers, Marion helped out with ranch work, and was known as a good hand and horseman at a young age. He participated in 4-H showing a steer each year at the county fair. A fond memory as a child was listening to boxing matches on the radio, especially those of the American Heavyweight Champion, Joe Louis. Tired of the dust and heat of Texas, with $40 in his pocket, Marion age fourteen, hitchhiked from Texas to Montana where he connected with two of his favorite older cousins. Passing through Wyoming during Cheyenne’s Frontier Days, was one of the trips highlights. Marion returned to Perryton and graduated from Perryton High School in 1944.
June 1945, at age seventeen Marion convinced his parents to sign papers saying he was old enough to join the Marines; following in the footsteps of three older brothers in service to the country in WWII, in both the Pacific and European Theaters. Marion was stationed in occupied Japan, he was always most proud of his brothers and his own military service.
After the war, Marion met Betty Ann Carlson of Boulder, Colorado at his sister Faye’s wedding to Betty’s brother. Marion and Betty were married on February 26, 1949. Their life together, with their three children led them to Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and in retirement to Hagerman, Idaho. Marion lived life on his own terms, never being constrained by convention. His passion for cows, horses and grass, world events and history, and his military service, all served him well throughout his life. He had a healthy respect for mankind, animals, the natural environment and the odds at the poker table.
Marion was preceded in death by both his parents A. A. and Dora Johnson; all his Texas bothers and sister Woodie, his son, Kim Elliott Johnson killed at the age of twenty by a drunk driver, and his wife, Betty Ann Carlson Johnson (2007).
He is survived by his one remaining sister, Faye Johnson Carlson and his one remaining sister-in-law, Roberta Carlson Smith both of Boulder, Colorado; his daughter Randa L. Johnson George of Emmett, Idaho and her children Tara Dial (Wade), Molly George (Guillermo) and Anna George; his daughter Robin Johnson Boies and her husband Steven Boies of Wells Nevada, their children Teema Boies Loeffelholz (James) , Samuel Boies (Katie), and Nathan Boies; six great-grandchildren including Gabriel and Rory Dial (Tara and Wade), Lautaro Franco (Molly and Guillermo), Aurora Boies (Nathan), Jocelyn and Oren Boies (Samuel and Katie); as well as numerous nephews, nieces and their families in Colorado and Texas.
Memorial services are pending. Notices will be posted when a date, time and location are determined. For those that wish to contribute to the memory of Marion, the family suggests donations be sent to VFW Home for Children, 3573 Waverly Rd, Eaton Rapids, WI 48827, 866-483-9642, www.vfwnationalhome.org, you can designate your donation go to the Nevada/California House if you so choose.