Brett Ira Johnson was the master of doing the impossible. The surest way to guarantee his participation was to tell him he wouldn’t be able to do something. As a kid, he memorized gun ballistics tables, knew every player and statistic for the Denver Broncos, and loved his horse Little Boy and dog Smoky more than any other single boy possibly could.
As a young adult, he literally tackled football, playing for Black Hills State and trying out at the NFL combine. He did bodybuilding, earned his PRCA card in bareback bronc riding, and enjoyed boxing and MMA fighting, sometimes in the ring, sometimes in less civilized environments.
He loved fancy cars and fancy clothes, but especially if he could get them at a discount. There was nothing that he liked better than telling chauvinistic and irreverent jokes (always punctuated with a mischievous smile) to his female loved ones who were guaranteed to appreciate his “humor” the least, but in reality was also the greatest champion and believer that his mom, sister, sister-in-law, and nieces could do anything, were probably fantastic at it, and were surely the “best-lookin” while doing it.
He had an irrepressible laugh and a way of asking the most thought-provoking questions about life that made his audience stumble and think carefully before answering. He was at different times in his life a huge muscled jock who taught nieces and nephews alike the proper way to win any arm-wrestling match, but also taught them to achieve their academic goals and strive for the kind of excellence that his high school teachers never would have seen coming.
His incredible diligence and hard work earned him a bachelor’s degree in biology from Black Hills State, a secondary education degree from Utah State University, a Juris Doctor degree and Editor-in-Chief of law review while graduating second in his class at the University of Idaho School of Law, and an advanced L.L.M. law degree from NYU College of Law.
He clerked at the Idaho Supreme Court, practiced complex litigation and intellectual property law for many years, was licensed in numerous jurisdictions, and was published in multiple law journals.
Brett lived life intensely.
He died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack, but it is our hearts that are forever changed for knowing him and loving him. He wouldn’t have wanted to leave this life in any different way than he lived it, without compromise or excuse, and with nothing gradual about it. Anything less would have been for “sissies.”
He will be sorely missed by those who knew him and loved him best, his Mom and Dad, Jerry and Ann, his brother and sister-in law Russ and Rhonda, brother Dave, sister and brother-in-law Natalie and Roger, and his treasured nieces and nephews, Emily and husband Daniel and great-nephew Max, Hayley, Caleb, Andrea, Kylie, Aspen, Kyle, Sawyer, and Abigail.
Services were Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at the LDS chapel, 1950 S. Locust Grove, Meridian ID 83642.