Cover photo for Ranleigh Dene Johnson's Obituary
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1946 Ranleigh Dene Johnson 2024

Ranleigh Dene Johnson

October 1, 1946 — April 10, 2024

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ranleigh Dene Johnson was born October 1, 1946, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Lilly Julia Nydegger Johnson and Charles Ellis Johnson II. He passed away peacefully at his home in Kearns, Utah on April 10, 2024.

His childhood was spent in the company of the Nydegger cousins at his Grandma Julia’s house where she served up wonderful meals, games, stories of Switzerland, and homemade pajamas on Christmas Eve. Summers were relished with the Johnson cousins at Grandma Maudie and Daddy Rufus’ home in Washington, Utah. It was an environment that stirred his vivid imagination and nurtured his love of history. He particularly enjoyed being with his grandpa, his favorite cousin Sue Evans, and the old-timer neighbors who were actual sons and daughters of the Utah pioneers. It was here that he learned to love everything old. He cried the day they paved the main street.

From an early age he had an eye for collecting. If he found it unusual or interesting, he had one--or several--including telephones, victorolas, vintage clothing, oil lamps, beer steins, hats--you name it. As a teenager he even bought himself a player piano. His collections were the bane of his dad and wife as they encroached on living space.

He created imaginary worlds for his siblings, cousins, children and grandchildren populated with miniature roads, trees, rivers, buildings, flags, heraldry and official proclamations. The first was Duesenberg, of which he was High Lord Protector.

Ranleigh worked as a pineapple picker in Hawaii, a steward on the SS Lurline luxury liner, a prop manager and set decorator on film crews, and docent at This is the Place Park. He served a mission to Brazil, attended Dixie College, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University.

The list of his artistic talents is extensive, including calligrapher, gardener, oil painter, set designer, faux finisher, and wood grainer. He was a gifted storyteller, writer, actor, and schoolteacher. He was beloved by his students and fellow teachers, even as he tended to irk administrators because of his ever-unorthodox approach to pedagogy. He was proud and devoted to his Mormon heritage along with his Masonic Lodge, the Kol Ami Synagogue of Salt Lake, his barber shop, and Irish drinking buddies. He was an appreciator and an enthusiast. And he inevitably became the star of a good conversation.

He married Maria Luiza Corrêa, on December 19, 1975, who blessed him with a lifelong affection for Brazil and four resilient children, Frederick Lincoln, Lilli Juliana, Charles Filipe, and Victoria Augusta (Tosca). He was the devoted and affectionate grandfather of Joseph Erich Johnson, Devon Karmøy (Lilly Rose) Johnson, Frederick (Fritz) Devon Hudson Johnson, and Babetta Julia Johnson.

He is also survived by his faithful dog, Rudyard Kipling (Rudge), who refused to leave his side and kept vigil to the end. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ranleigh Dene Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Saturday, April 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Memorial Murray Mortuary

5850 S 900 E, Murray, UT 84121

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Memorial Murray Mortuary

5850 S 900 E, Murray, UT 84121

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