Sunday, May 25, 2008

goodbyes

Thank you uncle Brad, aunt Kathy, and aunt Janice for this wonderful tribute:

Vere Hodges Johnson was born on August 30, 1921 to Alphalus Ariel Johnson and
Blanche Jesse Hodges Johnson in Beaver Dam, Utah. Vere had what he described as the perfect childhood, surrounded by a large extended family. He graduated from Bear River High School in 1939, Utah State University in 1944, and Western Reserve University Dental School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1948. He served two full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; first as a young man in the North Central States Mission (1942-43) and later with his wife in the Frankfurt, Germany Mission (1985-86). He was an active member of the church all of his life. Vere preached the gospel and lived its precepts faithfully. He married Winifred Amacher in the Logan Temple December 19, 1947. They were married 56 years when she passed away in March of 2004. They were the parents of eight children. Family was all important to them. Vere worked hard at his dental practice. He practiced dentistry in Roosevelt, UT; throughout Florida; and Logan for 35 years. His home was a secure place where all were well fed and entertained by his quick wit. Learning and education were not only encouraged but financially supported. He had many interests. He loved the gospel, people, Beaver Dam, family history work, his grandchildren’s sporting events, good deals, buffets, building projects. Arabian horses, computers, but most of all his family. He valued education, hard work, thrift, integrity, and stressed to the very end that “family is everything”. Grandpa’s large smile, big laugh, and constant joking were infectious and endearing to all who knew him. He had a nickname for everyone or a story he would tell to introduce his friends and family to others. His teasing indicated that one qualified as his friend. We’ve all been educated or enlightened by the wisdom which he freely gave. If it could be built, he wouldn’t buy it. If he had to buy it, he found the greatest deal in town, and the story of its acquisition became legendary. But we all know the acquisition of which he was most fond –his dear wife, and the family they built together. He was preceded in death by his wife Winifred, his parents, and his brothers Don and Thiel. He is survived by his children; Rand (Nancy) – Dripping Springs, TX, Janice Stauffer (John) – Bountiful, UT, Kathleen Thatcher (David) – Paradise, UT, Paul (Jill) – Santiago, Chile, Bradley (Rosemarie) – Enumclaw, WA, Todd, (Diane) – Annandale, NJ, Scott, (Melanie) – Snellville, GA, Robert (Mary) – Providence, UT; 55 grandchildren, and 46 great grandchildren; sisters Mae Zollinger and Renee Nielsen. The family would like to sincerely thank all the friends and family who cared so lovingly for Vere, especially the never tiring devotion of grandson, Kent Thatcher. Funeral Services will be held Friday, May 30, at 2:00 p.m. at the Providence 2nd & 3rd ward chapel, 309 South Main, Providence. Viewing will be held Thursday, May 29 at the Nelson Funeral Home, 162 East 400 North, Logan; and Friday at the Providence 2nd & 3rd ward chapel from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Interment, Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Yesterday, my grandpa Johnson died.

He took his last breath surrounded by his family that adores and admires him. It seems a good transition, going from the arms of those who love him here, to those who love him There.

I drove up to Logan when I heard the news.

He was in a lot of pain, and was ready to go Home. It was still hard to see my big grandpa lying there quiet and still.

I got to spend a day with grandpa a couple of weeks ago. He was sick, and humbly asked how I deal with all this going on in my life-the pain, the fear, the anxiety. He said he was inspired by the way I was carrying on. He said when he got to the other side, he would plead for mercy on my behalf. This touches me somewhere deep inside, and gives me strength and hope.

A light rain fell as we drove out of the valley. The sun was low in the west and scattered a misty glow on the fields, mountains, and trees. Ive never seen the world so perfectly lit.

19 comments:

Shalise said...

Alisa,
I am SO sorry for your loss, it seems your Granpa was such a great inspiration by the things you have said about him, Our Sympathy goes out to you and your family.

Tricia said...

If you have someone like him pulling for you up there---well, lets just say that things are going to be ok.. My condolences for you at this time..

Whatsatoomzaletson said...

beautifully said, Alisa.

Rebecca said...

Hi Alisa,
This is Rebecca Sanchez Devenport, and I've been lurking on your blog for a while. First, thank you for the wonderful things you've been writing-witty, inspiring, profound. And thank you for posting this tribute about your grandpa. I remember your dad telling the story (think it was during one of his home teaching visits) of how he called on your mom, once, and was told she was on a date with NAM's son. He said at first he was discouraged, but soon said to himself, "Well I'm Vere Johnson's son," and the rest is history. I've always thought--known--that Vere Johnson must have been pretty incredible. It's a blessing to have a glimpse of his and your grandma's lives. It's a blessing, too, to have been touched by his legacy through your whole family. What a tender image of him pleading in your behalf. We are praying for you, too. Our best to all the Johnsons, Love, Rebecca and family

Roger and Kelli Proctor said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. He sounded so sweet, talking about pleading on your behalf when he gets to the other side, that is the sweetest thing! I love how you see the world, you are so awesome.

Peck Family said...

Alisa,
I'm sorry about your Grandpa. My grandma passed away in October and even though it's a blessing-it's still so hard. My thoughts are with you-Heather

Leah said...

Alisa,

I'm so sad to hear the loss of your sweet grandfather. May you and your family be blessed with the sweet memories you made with him!

Sincerely,
Leah

Rod and Kandace said...

Thanks for sharing. What a good man he was. I can see how his pleadings on your behalf would be very helpful. Sorry for your loss.

Karlet said...

I don't know what we're going to do without him. I think a lot of people are inspired by your strength, Alisa.

Tera said...

We are thinking about you during this difficult time. Thanks for sharing a little of his life with us.

MichelleChud said...

I totally understand. My Papa just passed away I guess it's been a month now. Not easy, but you know they feel better physically. Sorry to hear the news. Hope you're doing well.

jennie said...

Beautiful post Alisa, and how timely your tribute was to him a few weeks back! He must be so happy, and I'm so happy he is going to plead for mercy on your (well, all of our) behalf.
Hope all goes well today... love you. xoxo

Momila said...

ALisa,
I am saddened for you by the passing of your grandpa, but so happy for him. And as we all know, he will definitely be pulling for you, from beyond the veil. My sweet daddy went three years ago but I still so often feel his presence when I need it...but he always reminds me he has other work to do, too. How lucky we are to have had such great men in our lives.
Love you,
Buffy

Kathy Urry said...

I am sorry about your Grandpa I know good men are hard to let go of. BUt I know he is in a good place and he is happy. I know it is hard to let him go but he sounds alot like you ro you him . Your both good People.
I cant belive how stong and such a good friend you are to people all around you.
Love The Urrys

Debbie said...

Alisa, I'm so sorry for your loss. I loved reading your post about your grandpa a short time ago. What a great sense of humor he has! loves to you!

The Brown Family said...

Alisa,
I am so sorry for your loss but how great it is to know that he is there on the other side rooting for you and your family and watching over you all! Nothing about losing someone is easy but we can celebrate the life they lived and it sounds like he was a great inspiration to you and a wonderful man!!!

Mary said...

Hey Lis. This will sound very strange to others when they read this but, I always remember how cute you used to think old men were - esp. on bikes. Is this still the case? This must be because of your cute grandpa! I love the memories you shared. And, I can't think of anyone better to be rooting for you!! ILY.

Cara said...

Alisa,

My heart goes out to you and your family. Those are such sweet promises he made to you.

My Gpa just passed away on May 23rd. I was able to spend the the day before with him, until 1am. He passed at 4am.

It was so hard to see my Gpa so sick and in pain his last day. Since he's been sick for 30+ years,I thought it would be easier to let him go. It's not!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

AND....I'm SO sad that your house is for sale!!! We will miss you and your cute family. But wish you the best!

Love,
Cara

IAmTheWalrus said...

Alisa, Your grandfather sounds like he was a wonderful grandfather and all-around great person.

I hope you, Josh and the kids are well.

Brent