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.