Idaho State Journal, 03/31/13
William Russell Johnson, age 88, passed away peacefully at his home in Georgetown, Idaho, March 29, 2013. He was born April 4, 1924, in Georgetown, Idaho, the only child of William George and Lillis Hayes Johnson. He grew up on the family farm in Georgetown, farming with his father and Uncle Albert Johnson. He was married June 22, 1953, in the Logan, Utah, LDS Temple to Anna Marie Genova Kessler. With the help of his father “Bill”, Russell and Anna Marie hauled logs from the canyons east of Georgetown with their horses and built the log home in which they spent their married life. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and worked hard to support his family, dividing his time between two occupations: dairy farming and horse shoeing. He was in the dairy business from his childhood until the cows were sold in 2011 and in 1972 he was the recipient of the Dairy Man of the Year Award in the Cache Valley Dairy Association and received many other awards for milk quality and production. His horse business began by training and shoeing horses for friends and neighboring ranchers. In 1968 he shifted his business from training to shoeing. At his peak he was shoeing over 800 horses per year. He had a love of Percheron horses and stood a registered stallion for service most of his life. In 2002 he was inducted into the Eastern Idaho Horseman’s Hall of Fame . He loved Jazz music and was an accomplished trumpet and string bass player, playing with many different bands and orchestras. He was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a High Priest in the Georgetown First Ward and served in many different callings and positions. He particularly enjoyed Scouting and received the Silver Beaver Award.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, and also a daughter-in-law, Roxena Westlake Johnson and a granddaughter, Sarah Johnson. He is survived by his wife, Anna Marie Genova Kessler Johnson, of Georgetown, Idaho. Son, Albert Johnson and wife Merri, of Georgetown, Idaho, and sons, Alexander and Nicholas Johnson. Daughter, Valerieann Giovanni of St. George, Utah and children, Sophia Sellers, Phalecia and husband Lonny Thompson, Robert Skinner and wife Sundi, Valanna and husband Tyson Sooaemalelagi, Nelianne Skinner and Maria Skinner. Son, Todd Johnson and wife Susan of Midway, Utah, and Todd’s children, Kristen and husband Devin Lloyd, Michael, Amanda, Elizabeth, Jessica, Angela and Melissa Johnson. Mario Johnson and wife Cynthia, of Georgetown, Idaho, and children, Adrianna and Zane Johnson, and four great grandchildren.
Services will be held Monday, April 1, 2013, at 2:00 pm in the Georgetown First Ward Chapel. The family will greet friends and relatives at the chapel from 12:00 to 1:45 pm.