Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stanley Lewis Johnson

I was in Utah last week for the funeral of my uncle Stanley Lewis Johnson who passed away at almost 91 years of age. To say he had an outstanding life would be an understatement. For a young boy growing up on a farm in Garland, Utah to becoming a Professor at Portland University, traveling the world, corresponding with movie stars, you could say that Stan lived life to its fullest.

I remember riding in his famous blue convertible as a child from Utah to Idaho with my brother Jon when we were small. It was very exciting!

My last memory of Stan is when he was spending the night at our house in Boise 2 years ago while traveling with mom and Harold to stay with them for a few days in Utah. It just happened to be American Idol night and Gabe and Christy were there and we were all gathered around the TV. Stan had taken a shower and was wearing one of Dan's robes and sitting in the recliner, just happy to be there. Christy asked him if he would like a coke (something he was not supposed to have since he was diabetic) and he said sure and his eyes lit up. He was smiling and enjoying himself. He even commented on a few of the singers on the show. That is my last memory of uncle Stan; the one that comes to mind when I think of him now.

I got to spend a whole week with my mom and that was so wonderful!!! I got to help her with a few of the funeral things and a couple of days afterward I went with her to meet with the attorney, since she is the trustee ans Executor of Stan's will she needed to know how to proceed.

The siblings did a wonderful job of putting together a really great funeral service. The day started off just for Stan with a typical Portland weather day (unusual for Utah - especially this time of year) with rain and clouds and then parting to let the sunshine and warm weather return right after the service. Stan was buried in Brigham City with full military honors which was quite a thing to experience. After the salute they folded up the flag and gave it to my mother explaining what a sacrifice that our Veterans have made for our country and that we should never forget them. It was such a spiritual moment and everyone shed some tears. My mom was overcome with the magnitude of the moment and she is honored to have his flag of service. Afterward, we went to Aunt Lola's church and had a luncheon which had been put together by all the cousins. There were about 80 people there to honor Stan. It was wonderful seeing Uncles and Aunts and cousins that I haven't seen for years. Uncle Ed was even there (he is Grandma J's youngest brother).

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