Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

Bob was born on March 6, 1928 to Arthur William and Elizabeth Crook Johnson at their home in Auburn. He was the baby of 11 children. His eight brothers were Francis, Rollin, Verde, Norman, Orson, Ervon, Douglas and Ross. His two sisters were Grace (Toland) and Elma (Pico).

He went to grade school in Auburn and attended Star Valley High School.

He, along with his other siblings, learned to work hard on the farm at an early age. No one could stack hay as fast and as well as Bob with a team of horses and an old buck rake. He had a close friendship with his siblings not only growing up together but many of them were lifetime neighbors.

Bob was a tremendous athlete. In the 1940’s while he was a teenager; each town in the valley had their own baseball team. He would hit a baseball so far at times that they wouldn’t even attempt to go and find it out in the tall grass. In the spring of 1946 he was invited to go to Colorado Springs to try out for the Denver Bears, the minor league baseball team for the Chicago Cubs. He said he was there for two weeks and it rained the entire time. He got a little discouraged, decided it wasn’t worth it and came home.

On Feb. 27, 1948 Bob married the beautiful Helen Wilkes and they live the first few years of their marriage in an old one-room cabin that sat next to the big tree that still stands by Bob’s home. A few years later, they built a home just west of the old gray house of Art and Lizzie Johnson. They have five children, Connie, Dale (he died at the age of 20 in Vietnam), Steven, Ballard and Artie.

In the early years of their marriage, they loved to dance. This was during the Big Band era and famous bands would come to the Valleon in Afton.

For many years, Bob owned between 20 and 25 Holstein milk cows that he would milk night and morning, 365 days a year. He would then sell his milk to the Afton Creamer. In the early 1970’s he sold his milk cows and concentrated on raising beef cattle which he continue to do until the end of his life. He was known for being an expert on cattle and was sought out by many for his knowledge and advice. This occupation gave his children and grandchildren ample opportunity for work and to learn responsibility.

During the time that he was milking cows, he had a few other jobs. He worked on the building of the Palisades Dam and then began work as a full-time Brand Inspector, a job that he did or over 20 years and one that he loved very much. He mad many acquaintances and lasting friendships through this occupation, friendships that he treasured.

After retiring from being Brand Inspector Bob continued to run his cattle ranch and enjoyed close association with his family up until the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Connie Brown (Mike); and his sons Steve (Karen); Ballard (Paddy); and Artie (Shellie); 19 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren; Brother Ross Johnson and sister-in-law, Eva Johnson, and many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his son, Dale; his parents, Arthur and Elizabeth Johnson, brothers, Francis, Rollin, Verd, Norman, Orson, Ervon, and Douglas Johnson and sisters, Grace Toland and Elma Pico.

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