Kenneth Andrew Johnson, 93, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on November 4, 2022. He was born October 16, 1929, in Basalt, Idaho to Andrew James Johnson and Bertha Ann Thompson Johnson. He was the second of five children, older sister Thora, Ken, followed by Naida, Nedra and Luana.
The family moved to the farm where he grew up. All the work in the fields at that time was done with horses. Andy and Bertha took the kids to the fields with them as they worked the crops. The smaller children would ride on the horses. When Ken got old enough he would work the horses alongside his mom and dad.
He attended schools in Basalt and Firth. In high school he was active in FFA and was an Idaho Star Farmer. He participated in sports including football and basketball. He and friends found fun by skiing behind horses or a car. He also participated in student government. He graduated from Firth High School in 1947.
During the summers of 1949 and 1950 Kenneth worked for the Agricultural Service Offices measuring and checking grain fields throughout Bonneville County. He could remember the names of the farmers and their fields even later in life.
During the Korean War Ken was drafted into the Army in 1951. After basic training he was sent to Japan then on to the Korean frontlines. He was honorably discharged from the Army in November 1952.
He met Mary Ilene Crofts on a blind date set up by her cousin in May 1953. They were married August 26, 1953, in the Idaho Falls Temple. They started farming on a 40 acre farm. Kathie was born the following year. Two years later twin daughters were born named Karen and Sharen. They died shortly after birth. Later Nadine then Russell joined the family there. The family moved to the farm south of Shelley where Sandra, Durwin and JoAnna were born.
In 1967 Ken and five friends (Maurice and Marcel Gentillon, Dewaine Haggard, Van Nelson, and Fred Nelson) formed the Cedar Creek Grazing Association. They continued the partnership until 2006 when the ranch was sold to Rulon Jones. Ken rented pasture on Crane Creek four more years. At age 84 he sold his cattle and rented his farm to his son, Durwin.
Kenneth farmed and ranched all his life. He loved his family and enjoyed working with them, having yearly camping trips, and going on special vacations later in life which included Alaska and Hawaii.
Kenneth was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many capacities through the years. He especially enjoyed home teaching and visiting with his friends and neighbors.
Ken was also a member of the American Legion. He was a part of the David B. Bleak Post 93 Honor Guard and served at the funerals for many of his fellow veterans.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Ilene; his six remaining children, Kathie (Kurt) Stringham, Nadine (Arlin) Smith, Russell (Sara), Sandra (Doug) Frickey, Durwin, JoAnna (Clay) Yardley; two sisters, Thora Just, Naida Jensen; 22 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, November 11, 2022, at the Shelley Third Ward Chapel, (513 South Park Ave.). The family will meet with friends Thursday evening from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at Nalder Funeral Home (110 W. Oak Street) Shelley and Friday from 10:00 - 10:40 am at the church. Burial will be in the Basalt Cemetery with Military Rites by the David B. Bleak Post #93 and the Idaho Army Honor Guard.
Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at https://zoom.us/j/91326716180