Jean Isabel Shaw Johnson passed away October, 05, 2020 at her home in Shelley, Idaho with all three of her children at her side.
Jean was born November 16, 1928 in Hayden, Colorado, the daughter of Benjamin and Isabel Shaw. The family moved to Salmon, Idaho and that is where Jean was raised. She attended the Salmon Schools. Her childhood was one of hardship and she learned early in life to survive with little.
Jean married the love of her life, Leon H. Johnson, on August 23, 1943 in Missoula, Montana. They were married for 57 years until his passing in June, 2000. They were the parents of two sons and a daughter.
During the early years of their marriage they lived and ranched with Leon’s parents in the Lemhi Valley near Salmon. In 1945 the entire family moved to Challis, Idaho where they leased a ranch in Round Valley, east of Challis. Jean often told stories of the cold winter they survived that first year. They later purchased a ranch with Leon’s brother, Lynn, also in Round Valley. Jean was a great example of a helpmate as she was always at Leon’s side in the field and still managed to care for the home and kids and provide meals.
They continued to farm until 1970 when Leon and Jean decided to go into the farm equipment business. They started Leon Johnson Equipment Company in Challis and later expanded the business by opening a branch in Salmon. Jean was essential in the business as the parts salesperson and bookkeeper. She loved the trips they took to Kansas in the semi-truck picking up Hesston equipment.
They sold the dealership in Challis but kept operating the Salmon dealership until they retired in 1982. At that time, they moved back to Challis. They kept active during retirement by cutting wood and posts, helping out their friends and family, and traveling.
After Leon’s passing, Jean kept busy with community service projects and looking out for her family. In 2012 she moved to Shelley, Idaho to be near her son, Tom. She was the type of person who, “never met a stranger,” and was always ready to help out anyone in need, especially the underdog. All through her life there seemed always to be young people living in her home who needed nurturing. Jean was also the Matron who kept the family together and her love for her grandchildren was always evident.
Jean attended the Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in Idaho Falls. While most would not have considered her a “religious person,” her faith was demonstrated in her life. She made sure that her children had Bible training and she affirmed her faith in Jesus Christ more than once.
Jean is survived by son, Don (Consuelo) Johnson of Filer, son Tom (Clorinda) Johnson of Shelley, and daughter, Lynda (Nate) Hoggan of Salmon; brother, Clinton Shaw of Salmon; twelve grandchildren: Kirt (Katherine) Johnson, Randi (Kory) Maybon, Travis (Devin) Johnson, Rose (Jared) Watson, Tanya Heffelfinger (Ryan McQuarrie), Michael (Luisa) Olney, Jeremiah (Hailey) Johnson, Tom Johnson Jr (Megan Grimes), Tabatha (Jared) Swenson, Scott Johnson, Nate (Pam) Hoggan, Tara (Dale) Olrich; thirty-five great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Leon, a brother, Doug, a brother, Leonard, a granddaughter, Michelle Hoggan Zettel, and a grandson-in-law, Matthew Hefflefinger.
The family would like to thank granddaughter Devin Johnson for the care and compassion she provided Grandma Jean the last few years.
Thank you also to the nurses at Alliance Home Health and Hospice for the compassionate care provided during these last difficult months.
A celebration of life event will be scheduled for a later date.