In 1948, Orson Johnson prepared the foundation for a new home on Johnson Lane in Rush Valley, Tooele County. In this house Orson, alongside his wife, Jessie, would raise his family, welcome in-laws, play with grandchildren, and urge visitors to stay for dinner or at least have some peanut M&Ms. Here, he would watch the seasons pass and care for Jessie to the end of her life. That foundation is not the only one built by Orson, who died on 23 July 2019 at age 97. His devotion to family, humility before God, dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ, sense of humor, work ethic, and endless enjoyment of service and of making connections with people gave every member of his posterity the strongest of foundations on which to build their lives. We are eternally grateful. Orson Albert Johnson was born in Ophir, Utah, on January 12, 1922, the youngest of seven children of Edwin and Pauline Johnson. Orson grew up on ranches, first in Ophir Creek and then on his family’s original pioneer-era spread in Rush Valley. He attended country schools in Ophir, Stockton, and Clover. He enjoyed farming with his father as well as listening to Detroit Tigers baseball, playing baseball himself, attending church, and visiting relatives in Salt Lake City for a taste of urban life. Attending high school in Tooele, Orson participated in Future Farmers of America and lettered in agricultural science. He also began to notice Jessie Sagers, the St. John girl who rode the bus to THS with him. Upon graduating from high school in 1940, Orson traveled with some friends to California to find work while continuing to court Jessie. He proposed over the Fourth of July holiday in 1941, and over Labor Day weekend that year, he and Jessie were married. They started married life in California, but it was not long before both Orson and Jessie wanted to return to Rush Valley. There, they welcomed their first child, Darrell, in 1942. Five more children would follow: Carol, Van, Ray, Lee, and Steve. Orson continued to work the ranch, inheriting the cattle business from his father. He also worked at the Hidden Treasure mine, which he very much enjoyed, and Tooele Army Depot before transferring to Dugway Proving Ground. He played in local baseball leagues and served as Sunday School superintendent, bishopric counselor, and twice as bishop, once of the Clover ward and once of the Rush Valley Ward. He also served as second counselor to Stake Presidents Joel Dunn and Wallace Johnson of the Tooele South Stake. He also was a dedicated Boy Scout leader who received the Silver Beaver award. Orson’s and Jessie’s home on Johnson Lane in Clover was for decades the center of their growing family’s lives. The heart of this home was the love between Orson and Jessie. Their marriage was one of two soulmates and best friends. They worked together, laughed together, served together in the California San Jose mission, mourned together the death of their son, Steve in 1976, and never stopped finding reasons that life was sweet, which for Orson included whittling, writing, painting, and rooting for the Utah Jazz and especially the BYU Cougars. Losing Jessie in 2010 and his son Lee in 2012, was devastating for Orson, but he decided God had more work for him to do. He made sure his family members and other loved ones knew how much he enjoyed and appreciated them while always looking forward to seeing “my Jessie” and his sons again. We who love him have no doubt that this joyful event has occurred, and that is a comfort as we now await our own reunions with Orson. Orson was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; wife, Jessie; sons Lee and Steve; daughter-in-law Judy; grandsons Luke and Josh; and great-granddaughter Lauren. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Darrell (Carol), Van (Susie) and Ray (Kathy); daughter and son-in-law Carol (John) Cluff; 23 grandchildren; and dozens of grandchildren-in-law, great-grandchildren, and step-grandchildren. There was room at Orson’s table and in his heart for everyone, and he was very proud of his posterity. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, at Tate Mortuary (110 S. Main St.) in Tooele and on Wednesday, July 31, at the Rush Valley Ward in St. John (985 N. Church St.) from 10:00-11:30 a.m. with the funeral to follow at noon.\n\nTo send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Orson Albert Johnson please visit our Sympathy Store.