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Theron E Johnson

Born: 12/5/1933, Sutherland, UT
Death: 8/1/2012, Colby, KS
Viewing: 08/06/2012, 8:00 to 10:00 am , , Spanish Valley Mortuary
Service: 08/06/2012, 11;00 am, Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery

Theron E. Johnson passed away peacefully on August 1, 2012, at Citizen’s Medical Center in Colby, KS. He was 78. He was born in Sutherland, Utah, on December 5, 1933 to Amon Fullmer Johnson and Laura Arvilla Erickson Johnson. He had three brothers , DeLoy, Don, and Floyd, three sisters, La Von Thalman, Janeanne, and Bonnie Graham. Theron was raised on a family farm in Sutherland, Utah. Early morning chores and long days in the fields helped him developed a solid work ethic that became a staple of his personality. His enthusiasm was infectious, as he positively influenced multiple generations throughout his professional and personal life. In 1954, Theron married Claudia Gowers, in 1955 Debra Marie Johnson and in 1957 Robert E Johnson were born to this marriage. They later divorced. In 1962, he married Barbara Christensen. To this marriage, four children were born. Russell C in 1963, Connie Rae in 1965, Mitchell Kent in 1968, Douglas Ryan in 1971 who was a pleasant surprise. In 1980, Barbara passed away, after a short battle with colon cancer. In 1984, Theron married Jane Walker Turvy. He enjoyed the opportunity to raise a step-son, Joshua Bryant Turvy. After graduating high school in Delta, Utah, in 1952, Theron traveled to Cedar City to attend Branch Agriculture College to study Agriculture. In 1953-54, he spent 2 years in the US army as a gunner on M7 tanks. In 1955-56, he attended Southern Utah College and received an associate’s degree in physical education. He also enjoyed playing college baseball and football. In 1958, he transferred to Utah State in Logan. He valued education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University in 1960 and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Utah State University in 1965. During his college years, he held several part-time jobs. He decided to attend college so he didn’t have to work so hard on the farm. His professional career began as a P.E. teacher and coach at Beaver High School 1962. He taught English, Math, and Physical Education. In 1964 he began work for Grand County School District in Moab, Utah. He was the junior high school basketball coach and physical education instructor for 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. After completing his Master’s degree he held positions as principle of both the Grand County High School and Grand County Middle School. In 1987 he moved to Colby, KS where he accepted the position as Colby Community College Director of Admissions and then became Dean of Student Services in 1986. In 1997, Theron quit his paying job at the college and purchased a 180 acre quarter horse breeding farm. This included 4 horse barns, a vet lab and breeding barn, indoor and outdoor riding arena and corrals. He and Jane moved from their house in town and began purchasing horses. Theron and Jane operated an American Quarter Horse sales and breeding program specializing in reining and working cow horse. He was very proud of his stallions, especially his show stallion—San Holly’s Tangy Gin(Bravo), a three time world show qualifier. He also owned Haidas San Sonita (Haida), who helped him fulfill his goal to place a horse in the top 10 in the world in the National Reined Cow Horse Association. He owned several other horses that won multiple futurities and derby’s. He and Jane also operated a Horse Hotel and a Bed and Breakfast for horse travelers. He enjoyed international travel and had the opportunity to visit throughout the Mediterranean, including Greece, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, and Santarini. He enjoyed salmon fishing in Alaska and several deep sea fishing trips off the big island of Hawaii. He also traveled to London and Bermuda which were not his favorites, but Jane enjoyed them. He loved the opportunity to live in Kansas because of the excellent pheasant hunting. He owned several exceptional hunting dogs that possessed his same drive. He loved fly fishing float trips on the Colorado river. He enjoyed elk hunting in Meeker, Colorado with Clayton and Bonnie Graham. He always valued athletics and the maintenance of physical fitness and ran 8 miles a day for years. He saw athletics as a way to influence young people, teaching them discipline, the value of winning and losing well, humility, and goal-setting. He was a dedicated father and spent hours working with each of his children in athletics and activities. He also knew the importance of eating dinner together and spending time talking over the day’s events with his family over the dinner table. He enjoyed coaching his children and later watching his grandchildren participate in various activities. In his retirement, the boy who went to college to leave the farm, returned to his roots. He took his last ride in his horse trailer from Colby, Kansas, to Moab, Utah, his final resting place. In October of 2006 Theron was diagnosed with leukemia. He participated in 11 different chemotherapy treatments including 1 clinical trial. As his disease progressed, Jane organized a big family reunion in the mountains of Colorado. Theron is survived by his wife, Jane, and seven children: Robert (Heidi), of Stansbury, Utah; Deborah, of Prior Lake, Minnesota; Russell (Becky) of Indian Springs, Nevada; Connie Frazier (Joe) of Erda, Utah; Mitchell, of LaSal, Utah; Douglas (Melissa) of Colby, Kansas; and Joshua Turvy (Angie), of Flagstaff, Arizona. Theron was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, his brother Deloy and two sisters, Janeanne, and Bonnie. A graveside service was held August 6, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Sunset Memorial

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   For love itself lives on;

   Cherished memories never fade
   Because one loved is gone.

   Those we love can never be
   More than a thought apart;

   For as long as there’s a memory,
   They live on within our heart.

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