Jackson C. Johnson
Jackson C. Johnson, loving husband and father of five, passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on November 4, 2020, at the age of 78.
Jack was born on April 7, 1942, in Glendale, Arizona, to Jackson Johnson and Mathilda Schmidt Johnson. He spent most of his childhood in Glendale, but he used to talk about his experiences living in Selma, Alabama, when it was still segregated.
Jack served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. After his discharge, his friends accused him of being a professional student because he attended ASU for eleven years while earning two degrees. The first was in education, but after teaching for a short time, he went back to school and earned the second degree in resource management.
Jack worked for the Bureau of Land Management for 30 years. His first job as a range conservationist involved driving around on the Arizona Strip checking in on water catchments and ranchers. Later in his career, Jack made use of his skills with GIS technology to make specialized maps for ranchers and other public land users. He spent summers traveling the west on fire teams. When questioned about the hardships of fighting fires, Jack usually commented favorably on the quality and quantity of the food and the overtime pay.
Jack married Donna M. Dodds on June 11, 1983. They raised five children, Ben, Kara, Alex, Grace, and Keelyn. In addition, they welcomed several foster children into their home. Jack was a loving father, and his children were his top priority. He had a tradition of taking each one out for breakfast on their birthdays. Although Jack and Donna have no grandchildren, they do have a special godson, Andre St. Clair.
Throughout his life Jack traveled to exotic places such as Thailand, Russia, Alaska, and the swamps of Louisiana, but his favorite place was his home state of Arizona. He became an expert on its geography, flora and fauna. In his spare time, he went hunting, fishing, and camping, sharing his passion for the desert with his children and friends on vacations, hikes, and camping trips.
Friends will remember Jack for his sense of humor, enthusiasm for sports, and his homemade salsa. He tasted his first taco when he was ten years old, and he was hooked on Mexican food for the rest of his life. He made friends easily because of his down-to-earth nature and outgoing personality.
While his children were small, Jack would play guitar and sing for them. He loved old rock and roll and could remember the words to songs–and quote them at just the right moments. With his encouragement and support in the way of lessons and chauffeuring, his children connected to music, too. Jack was a proud and reliable audience at home, at church, and at recitals. Music continues to be an important part of their lives, a lasting legacy from Dad.
Jack became a Christian not long after the birth of his first son, and he devoted his life to serving the Lord in his local church, Hope Covenant Church, and later at MasterPiece Church in Arizona, both of which he had energetically helped to found. After moving to Boise, he and Donna attended Harvest Life Church. Although he held leadership positions, he was quick to volunteer for any task, no matter how humble. He was truly a servant leader.
Jack was preceded in death by his father, Jackson, and his mother Mathilda. He is survived by his wife Donna, his five children, all of Boise: and his brother Jim Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona.
A private funeral service will be held at 10:00 am, on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. To watch the service, please visit: https://vimeo.com/473921858
Arrangements are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor of Garden City.
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Chris Horyza saysNovember 11, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Donna – I am so sorry to hear this! I have thought a lot about you two over the last couple of years. Yet, I had no idea you had moved to Boise!
Tom Folks passed this news on to me at about 1 am this morning, and I have been overwhelmed by memories since. I had a call from Dan Sokol, and called another couple of old friends to reminisce and reconnect. Jack and I had many good times together over the years, and it is hard to imagine him gone. I know you are in the loving presence of your friends, family, and faith. I will miss Jack tremendously, as I miss you both now.
Mike Taylor saysNovember 11, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Jack was one of my favorite people. Always friendly always with a good word to say. He’d help you out even if it wasn’t part of his duties. I am so sorry… the world has lost one of the good guys….
Deborah Stevens saysNovember 12, 2020 at 9:20 am
Always a very friendly and sincere person, Jack took this self characteristic to heart. He was always extremely helpful to me and the Bureau of Land Management Arizona public affairs program with his knowledgeable skills of mapping and producing a variety of statewide and specific maps for the public outreach and federal land management. He always shared his family highlights with his coworkers and friends, always so proud of his wife and children. My prayers and heartfelt condolences are with the entire family, resting in the knowledge he has been a good and faithful servant of God and is now resting in his loving arms.
Dana Robinson saysNovember 17, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Donna, So sorry to hear this news. Jack was somewhat of a mentor to me when I worked at the state office. Always willing to share his wealth of knowledge about our shared duties, as well as the history of the decision processes that were made over the years with regards to the data under our management. And willing to learn new tricks! He was always excited to learn new techniques related to the software we used. He was always sharing stories about his family, you and the kids, and I was reminded how when I first met him he would speak in song lyrics! I have wondered how he has been over the years, remembering his smiling face walking down the hall of the State Office the last time I saw him.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your kids.
Dana -AZ BLM