Thomas Johnson, 92, of Conrad passed away June 10 at the Extended Care Facility at Pondera Medical Center.
A graveside service is planned at the Hillside Cemetery in Conrad on Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m. followed by a service at the Pondera Valley Lutheran church at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend either or both services for remembrance and to honor Thomas Johnson’s time with us. Snacks, refreshments, and a time to reminisce will follow the church service.
Tom was born on July 13, 1924, in Ledger, a small community just northeast of Conrad, to Ann and Thomas Johnson Sr.. He was the youngest of four children and was preceded in passing by his three sisters, Annabelle (Fergeson), Hazel (Griffith), and Esther Johnson.
Tom grew up on the farm and sheep ranch that his parents had homesteaded north of Conrad near the Marias River. He attended the Butte School of Mines for two years after high school before entering the Navy during WWII. After his service he returned to the farm and ranch becoming a successful wheat and barley farmer. Back in Conrad he met a Conrad High School English, Literature, and typing teacher, Lenore Loftus; they dated, fell in love, and were married for 60 years until Lenore passed away in 2011.
Besides being a successful farmer/rancher, Tom was a loyal and supportive member of the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church where he was a Deacon for many years, a very active member of the hospital board that was responsible for the formation of the current Pondera Medical Center, he was noted for his good business sense, responsible and diligent farming practices, and at one point (1992) during his career he was recognized by the Pondera Conservation District as Conservationist of the Year.
Tom was well-known for being a “gentle man” and a “gentleman”. He was also known for his patience, honesty, integrity, dedication, and for being a devoted husband and family man. He enjoyed family vacations to the Glacier Park and Flathead Lake mountain areas, supporting his children and grandchildren’s sports and school activities, loved to golf and ski, and relished the winter getaways to their home in Palm Desert, Calif.
Tom is survived by his three children, Greg Johnson of Montana, Lance Johnson of California, and Jill Johnson, still farming and ranching with her husband Paul near the Marias River; three grandchildren Ross, Colby, Taylor; and two great-grandchildren Zaeza (Ross and Blair) and Kanin (Colby and Casey). He had also been a loving step-grandfather to Lance’s step-daughter Jamie Gehring, daughter of wife Tammie.