Cover photo for Gerald Marvin Johnson's Obituary
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1938 Jerry Johnson 2024

Gerald Marvin Johnson

December 31, 1938 — April 24, 2024

Cut Bank

Gerald Marvin Johnson, passed away on April 24, 2024, at the age of 85. Born on December 31, 1938, in Cut Bank, Montana, Jerry was the first of 4 children born to Marvin Roman and Jennie Lee (Flaget) Johnson. He grew up in Glacier County west of Cut Bank truly loving this farm community. Farming began early for Jerry when he learned to run a tractor at the age of 8. It was his lifelong love for an occupation and hobby. At 21, he left his parts job at Anderson Implement and entered into a partnership with Adolph Brandvold to get his first agricultural business started with his new wife and son.

After that year of farming on the Meriwether Road, he bought cows, hay and an old truck and began his career ranching in the north country until he got the opportunity to buy the farm/ranch from his father. Gradually he expanded by buying and selling a larger farm every 5 years until 1992. He sold it all when he suddenly decided to retire at a nice young 53 years of age.
 Jerry then took up the game of golf, split time in Arizona and home, and expanded his friendships around north-central Montana and south as far as Bozeman. Bored with not working, he bought his final farm in the Del Bonita area where he lived until his death.

 Jerry’s love of sports kept him in school and his biggest accomplishment in his eyes was being on the starting five of the 1957 Cut Bank High School state championship basketball team. His love for the team sport showed in his defensive prowess they gave him the media name “Jumpin’ Jerry Johnson” on the radio and in the local newspapers. He believed his contribution was to out jump, out maneuver and out play the other players. He determined that he was best at feeding the ball to other teammates to make the points. His style of play led him to play for both Montana State and MSU Northern.

Jerry married Liane Sherman in 1959, and they set out to make the most of life. This included the various moves to the many different ranches and farms; to his purchase of Pistol Bullit as a yearling colt; and to the adventures of quarter horse racing from Canada to almost every quarter horse track in the Northwest, across Central USA, and California as his favorite horse and took Jerry to the winner’s circle many times.

Jerry trained to become a pilot, got his license and bought a plane, for which he eventually became famous when he flipped it upside down and gave up his career in the sky. He decided to become a Little League, Inc. Softball coach when his youngest took up the sport. One of his most treasured successes was the Cut Bank Senior Softball team that won the Montana State Championship and continued to the Western Senior Softball Regional tournament in Soldotna, AK, where the team was finally eliminated in the championship game. 

 Jerry then started coaching boys’ Big Sky Games basketball teams for the next few years. The boys flocked from all over Glacier and Pondera County to practice and play on his teams in the late 1980s through the early 1990s. His last coaching job was for Cut Bank High School girls’ basketball. He loved the youth athletes and as his younger daughter told him in his last weeks “Dad, you taught us how to build a team, to bring out the best of each of us, and to be better through hard work”. His impact extended far beyond the playing field and court and fairway, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those he mentored.

 Above all, Gerald treasured his role as a father and grandfather, traveling far and wide to visit his loved ones, and share in their joys and triumphs. He loved his family and was in every way committed to that love. His other great loves in life were children and animals. He was passionate about his chosen endeavors in life and approached life with a steadfast resolve and unwavering commitment to each. His friends came from all walks of life, and each knew him as “true to himself” in his beliefs.

  Gerald is predeceased by his parents, his brother Neil Johnson, and two great grandsons.
  Jerry is survived by his wife, his son Scott (Phyllis), daughters Jeri (David) Elliott and Barbara Johnson, grandsons Nathan Elliott, Christopher (Melissa) Johnson, Matthew, Evan, and Marshall McCord; granddaughters Reyka (Eirick) Ravenwood, Andrea Gonzalez McCord, Danica (Jess Medina) Johnson, Brandi (Brad) Smith, and ZoeLynn McCord; great grandchildren Carmen and Brianna Elliott, Ezra Shanafelt, Cali and Luca Johnson, Hunter and Lucy Smith, sister Nancy (Don) Kraft, brother Ralph (Raenell) Johnson, sister-in-law Jetta Johnson, and lastly his best pal Duke of Del Bonita, his favored white haired four-legged companion.

 In honor of Gerald's compassionate nature, the family requests that donations be made to Quailwings Animal Rescue in Cut Bank, MT, or your animal care choice, a cause that held a special place in his heart.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gerald Marvin Johnson, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024

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