Dec. 5, 1922 – May 4, 2012
Paul Stanley Johnson, age 89, lifetime resident of Basin, Wyoming, died suddenly Friday, May 4, 2012, while mowing the grass at their home in Basin. Plans had been in the works for the family gathering this coming December to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Paul Stanley Johnson was born Dec. 5, 1922, at home in a small grass-roofed house in Basin, Wyoming. He was born to Frances and Owen Johnson, the youngest of seven…hence the initials “P.S.”
He attended Basin Public Schools through 12th grade. His father died when he was 15, and he began helping his brother Lew in the family trucking business, Johnson Transfer, doing incredibly hard (and dangerous) jobs for a young man that age. Amazingly, he found time to finish high school through graduation and even participate on Basin’s first football championship team in 1938, although he modestly asserted he “didn’t help much.”
Stan began dating Cora Wilson while he was in high school and they married on Halloween 1941. The young couple had only enough money to pay the preacher his customary $5 fee. He entered the Army in 1943, leaving his wife and infant son to join the war effort. Without having basic training, he was assigned to attend radio school, where the servicemen learned about and began to use a new tactic in the war called radar. He was being sent to Australia and Dutch New Guinea, when he rode the LST through a hurricane near the Philippines and was amazed at the size of the waves. He was there when the war ended in 1945. Last May 2011 he participated in an Honor Flight from Wyoming to the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.; this helped him realize his part, too, was an important part of the war effort.
After the war, Stan returned to his family in Basin and entered into a partnership in the trucking business with his brother, called Johnson Transfer. They transported mail, moved construction equipment and unique buildings around the area and over the mountain. This business could not support two families at that time, so after 20 years, he took over the business, the equipment and the debt. It took about 10 years to work out of the debt and then it became a reasonably profitable business until he retired in 1988. Stan enjoyed traveling to family homes to visit and using his MacGyver fix-it skills, watching the Atlanta Braves, and wearing one of his favorite baseball caps that said, “WWII Veteran” or “What’s 80 Years Old When You’re Going to Live Forever?”
Throughout his childhood and all his adult life Stan faithfully attended, taught classes, and participated at the First Baptist Church of Basin. He led Sunday School groups of various ages for 64 years, as well a leading the youth group for many years. In recent time he was an Elder in his church and mentored young men in their faith. This is a part of his legacy.
Corky and Stan were married for 39 years, until her death in 1981. To this union were born three children, Fred, Cozette and Judson. Stan married Catherine Shibata in 1987 and added three more children to his family, Julie Fall, Kirk Shibata and Kerry Perkins. The couples contributed a total of 15 grandchildren to the union, and at last count were the proud great-grandparents of 23 great-grandchildren, with the promise of more to come. Cathy and Stan enjoyed nearly 25 years of marriage with many trips to visit family (sometimes a project or two was completed) or just to have fun.
Stan was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Frances; all of his siblings, Dorothea, Lew, Lois, Eddie, Edna and Marjorie; his wife, Cora; and a daughter-in-law, Cynthia.
Grateful for having shared Paul Stanley Johnson’s life are his wife, Catherine of Basin, Wyoming; the six children, Fred (Kim) Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas, Cozy (Bob) Dorton of Custer, South Dakota, Jud (Lynne) Johnson of Garland, Texas; Julie (Dave) Fall of Gillette, Wyoming, Kirk (Caren) Shibata of Victorville, California, and Kerry (Greg) Perkins of Holbrook, Arizona.; 15 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.
His incredible smile, his problem-solving skills, and most importantly, his humble, loving and gentle spirit will be deeply missed. His love of the Lord and his witness about God’s grade is the legacy that will live on and must be passed on to future generations. His desire for each one here would be that you and your house would know the Lord.
A viewing was held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, and at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming from 9:00 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.
Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at the First Baptist Church in Basin, Wyoming, with Pastor Kent Dempsey as officiant. Burial was at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin. A reception followed at the First Baptist Church Gymnasium.
Memorials will be received in Stan’s name at Security State Bank, Box 531, Basin, WY 83510. Proceeds will go to the Basin First Baptist Church Benevolent Fund.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.