Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Jack Neil Johnson

 

August 27, 2020



Jack Neil Johnson, 90, passed away on August 13, 2020, after a 30 year battle with cancer.  He had been living with his eldest daughter and son-in-law in Lander, Wyo., for the past year, since the departure of his beloved wife of 68 years. 

Born in Eugene, Ore., to Leslie & Ella (Long) Johnson on December 13, 1929, Jack was the youngest of their three sons. In his early childhood, his family relocated to Thermopolis, Wyo., where he would attend school and graduate in 1947. Jack’s professional career began at the creamery in Worland, Wyo. In those days, he hitchhiked to and from work every day. He shortly thereafter found a position working on the Boysen Dam project for a time. He eventually found work in Grass Creek working with Marathon Oil. Jack worked for Marathon for 30 years, until his retirement in 1979. While working for Marathon, he also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming via correspondence courses. 

One bright day in 1948, he met his wife, Frances, at the corner drugstore in Thermopolis. He would later propose on Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park.  They were married September 9, 1950, in Bremerton, Wash., and then made their home in Grass Creek. It was during this time that they celebrated the births of their daughters: Lori Ann in 1951 and Vera Lynn in 1953. The Johnsons resided at Grass Creek until 1962, when they relocated to Thermopolis and the home they would share until 2019.

Jack was a civic-minded man who actively looked for ways to be involved in his community. He served two terms of office as Hot Springs County Commissioner in the 1980s. He was a member of the local Elks Lodge and Kiwanis Club. He and Fran also served many years on the boards of the local library and museum. They enjoyed playing bridge, delivering meals on wheels, and having lunch with friends at the Thermopolis senior center. He and Fran were also regulars at the First Baptist Church of Thermopolis. 

Jack was a steady man who loved where he lived. He enjoyed walking up Round Top on cloudy days. He was independent-minded and resourceful. He did his best to be handy and thrifty. He enjoyed playing cards and working the crossword puzzle in the paper. He liked to fish, hunt, and camp with his family.  

Jack is survived by his daughters, Lori Ann (Jerry) Sweeney of Lander, Wyo., Vera Lynn (Kevin) Knopik of Casper, Wyo., 6 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorial contributions be made to Help for Health Hospice (www.helpforhealthwy.com), 1240 College View Dr., Riverton, WY 82501.

 

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