Sylvan Palmer Johnson, a giant and gentle soul, peacefully passed away on December 3, 2010 in Payson, UT surrounded by his family, after his mortal body wore out in the service of his family and fellowman.
He was born to Glen R. and Margaret Ellen Palmer Johnson on June 7, 1921 in Blanding, UT, where he lived most of his life.
Sylvan met his sweetheart, Jeanne Ruth Hardy, in Price, UT while he was working for the U.S. Government and attending Carbon College. They were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on March 16, 1942. After her passing in 2005, he married Violet Daniels on June 4, 2005
Sylvan served in the Army Air Force during World War II. He taught Morse code and electronics to cadets at Yale University in New Haven, CT. He was honorably discharged as a 2nd lieutenant.
While in the service, Sylvan and Jeanne lived in Colorado Springs, CO, Bellville, IL, and New Haven, CT. After the war they lived in Salt Lake City, Alpine, Blanding and St. George, UT.
Sylvan earned a living as a traveling salesman for many years. He distributed mail and newspapers with Wycoff trucking, sold cars at Timp Motor in American Fork, and tried his hand at farming.
He managed the Western Auto Store for Joe and Freda Hunt when they first moved back to Blanding in 1959, sold Ford vehicles and mine supplies for Van Palmer, managed Blanding Lumber and Hardware for Rex Harvey, and owned and operated the Blanding Home Center for many years before retiring. He came out of retirement to drive the Senior Citizen Bus in Monticello, Blanding, White Mesa, Bluff and south of the San Juan River before moving to St George for his wife’s health.
Sylvan has given a lifetime of community and church service. His civic contributions were with the PTA, Blanding Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Road Committee, Frontier Days Chairman, President of the Republican Party, Square Dance Club, Search and Rescue Jeep Patrol, San Juan County Planning Commission, Lion’s Club, San Juan Booster Club, Boy Scouts of America, San Juan County Economic Development Committee, and the National Red Cross.
He was a faithful and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings over the years, including Sunday School teacher and president, Primary teacher, Lamanite Branch President, Four Corners Care Center sacrament meeting coordinator, Stake Missionary on the Navajo Reservation, High Councilman, Branch Presidency at Meadows Retirement Center in St. George and temple worker in the St. George Temple. He was very spiritual and loved the scriptures. He is a man who gave freely of his time, talents, and heart and was always willing to help anyone in need.
Sylvan is survived by his wife Violet, four children Diana (Wayne) Asay, Sylvia Jean (Allen) Palmer, Laurel (Tim) Reed, and Jaren Wayne (Kristen) Johnson; sisters Norma Jean (Lee) Patterson, Glenna Lee (Bruce) Stevens, and brother Leon (Iris) Johnson, 15 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren and 28 great-great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by wife Jeanne, sons Sylvan Layne and Glen Ryan, great-grandson Casey, parents, two brothers and one sister.
Visitation will be held in the Relief Society room at the North LDS Chapel on Saturday, December 11, 2010. Funeral services will follow at 12 noon in the Chapel. Interment will follow in the Blanding City Cemetry.