Sylvan W. Johnson passed away at home on his 98th birthday, August 17, 2019.  He was born in 1921 to Lamar and Florian Johnson and welcomed by his older sister, Afton Mar. Two years later, younger sister, Iva Lu joined the family and they lived part time on the ranch in Johnson Canyon and part time in the little white house across from the Post Office in Kanab.

Dad had many wonderful memories of being on the ranch as a youngster with his dad and uncle Joel.  On a boy scout hike at the age of 12, he broke both ankles and spent the next nine months recovering.  This placed him in the 6th grade school class, one year younger and there he met the love of his life, Farris Ford.

He graduated from Kanab High school in 1940 where he had been an outstanding athlete.  He made the basketball team all four years, took first place in the high and low hurdles at the district meets and competed at the State and Invitational meets during his career.  He attended Utah State Agricultural College and Dixie College until he was called home to help his dad on the ranch.

Dad and Mom were married September 6, 1942 and solemnized in the St. George temple in 1944.  Son, Bruce was born before he was inducted into the army early in 1944 and he received a telephone call in August to say that son Wally had been born.  An accident in basic training rebroke one of his ankles and prevented him from being sent overseas with his platoon.  He spent his military service working at the pharmacy and infirmary at Ft. McClellan, Alabama and was able to send for mom and the two boys the last part of his enlistment.  He received an Honorable Discharge at Sherman Field, IL in 1946 and the family returned home, happy to have seen part of the country but very glad to be back home. Daughter, Jean, joined the family and time was divided between the ranch and Center Grocery in Kanab. Daughter, Leslie, was born and dad took full charge of the ranch in 1963.  He was a scout master, active in the Lions Club and his Church, but enjoyed ranching the most.

He is survived by his children; Wally (Layle), Jean, and Leslie (Jim) Lee; 7 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren and 13 great, great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Farris; parents; sisters; oldest son, Bruce, a newborn son, Joel Hills, and grandson, Timothy.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, August 24, at the South Chapel.  There will be a viewing from 9:45 to 10:45 prior to the service.  Burial will be in the Kanab Cemetery under the direction of Mosdell Mortuary.


Leave A Comment