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Gordon O'Donnell Johnson

February 11, 1938 — May 13, 2024


Gordon O'Donnell Johnson

 Gordon O’Donnell Johnson (age 86) passed away Monday, May 13, 2024 at his home in Centerville, Utah.  He was born 11 February 1938 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Gordon O’Donnell Young and Dorothy Deloris Knapp.  His parents divorced when he was about 5 years old and his mother later remarried, to Dan Johnson whom Gordon lovingly referred to as “Dad”.  At the age of 14, Gordon contracted polio, which paralyzed the left side of his throat and vocal cords.  He spent 6 months in the Salt Lake County Hospital which included at least one week in an iron lung. 

 Gordon was a 1956 graduate of East High School in Salt Lake City.  As a teenager, Gordon’s dad, Dan, counseled him to consider a college education, since the effects of the polio would make a career as a mechanic, like his father, more difficult.  He wisely heeded his dad’s counsel.  He enrolled at the University of Utah after his High School graduation. 

 Gordon served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the Southern California Mission from 1959 to 1961.   He then returned to his studies at the University of Utah, during which time he met his future bride, Kathryn Jean Mellor, at Bear Lake on a Lambda Delta Sigma retreat.  They were married on 21 June 1962 in the Salt Lake Temple.  They are the proud parents of two sons and three daughters:  Richard Gordon, Cynthia Ann, James Christopher, Jeannette Lynne and Kimberly Sue. 

 He graduated from the University of Utah in June of 1963 with a degree in mechanical engineering.  Jean recalled that Gordon’s grades in his course work significantly improved after they were married.  He went to work for Pacific Corp (Utah Power and Light), where he worked for 38 years. 

 Gordon faithfully served the Lord throughout his life.  He served in many capacities in the church including serving with a few bishoprics as ward clerk and executive secretary.  He enjoyed temple attendance and serving with Jean as an ordinance worker in the Bountiful Temple for several years.  He had a great love for family history, researching and writing personal histories of family members.  He served as a Family History Consultant, as well as serving a mission at the Family History Library for several years. 

 Gordon and Jean loved to travel together and saw many interesting places in the world such as the Holy Land, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, England, Wales and most of western Europe and China.  He has visited 48 of the 50 states while Jean has only been to 47.  They loved spending time traveling with friends and family. 

 He was predeceased in 2010 by his father Gordon O’Donnell Young (Esther) and in 1982 by his mother, Dorothy Deloris Knapp (Dan Johnson), in 1940 by a full brother David Knapp Young, in 1954 by a half-brother, David Oscar Young, and in 1989 by a step-brother Robert Reese Archibald.  He is survived by his loving wife, Jean, his 5 children, their spouses, 15 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.  Also surviving are 5 sisters:  Nancy Denton (Richard), Kathy Shelley (Marlin), Sandra Ingles (Jim), Marie Thurston and Deanna Smellie (Don). 

 A LOVING FAMILY – Gordon will be sorely missed by his wife, Jean, to whom he’d been happily married for almost 62 years as well as their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.     

 Richard Johnson (Kathee), 2 sons: Matthew Johnson (Gina) and their daughter, Madeleine; and Timothy Johnson. 

 Cyndi Derrick (Dennis), 5 children:  Meghan Fuller (Peter) and their children Samuel and Anna; Braden; Lauren Martin (Morgan); Kathryn Backman (Levi); and Jonathan. 

 Christopher (Sarah), 4 children:  Sophie; Benjamin (Amanda); Annie Reeves (Cameron); and Oliver. 

 Jeannette Pons (Bryan), 3 children:  Garrett (Yvonne); Marissa Nuttall (Kyler) and their twins, daughter Everly and son Everett; and son, Nathan. 

 Kimberly Pollei (Steve) and daughter Emma. 

 A viewing will be on Sunday, May 19, 2024 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Porter Lane 2nd Ward, 436 West 400 South, Centerville, Utah 84014.  Funeral services will be on Monday, May 20, 2024 at 11:00 am with a viewing from 9:30 am to 10:30 am at the church. Gordon will be laid to rest following the services at Memorial Lakeview Mortuary & Cemetery, 1640 East Lakeview Drive, Bountiful, Utah 84010.

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