Jack was the youngest of four children born to John and Marcia Johnson of Ladoga, Indiana on February 13, 1926. There he grew up and played high school basketball and baseball. During his high school years he found the love of his life but was drafted into the Navy in 1944. Upon returning from the Service, Jack moved to Casper, Wyoming where one of his older brothers lived. It was there that he began his career with the Amoco Refinery. Jack then asked his high school sweetheart, Elda Stout to join him and they married on November 3, 1946. They lived in North Casper, Paradise Valley and then moved to a small ranch near the Goose Egg. After selling the ranch they settled down to raise their 3 children, Merry Elda, Gayla Ann and John R. III at the foot of Casper Mountain near Goose Egg.
Jack loved the outdoors and fishing whether it be in a lake, stream, pond or creek. If it had fish in it, he was determined to catch at least one. His love for fishing included many trips with his family and grand children. He was a sports fan and followed baseball, basketball and some football. The sport he loved most was basketball and played it during his high school years. It was a family tradition as his oldest daughter wanted to play basketball but the sport hadn’t taken off yet for high school girls so Jack became their basketball coach. His oldest daughter Merry proudly wore his uniform # 5 as did his other daughter Gayla and his granddaughter Devin. Jack was still playing on a men’s basketball team well after turning forty. He was known as “running gunning Jack Johnson”.
Family get togethers at Jack’s house were great times had by all even if you weren’t family you were always welcome. He loved smoking ribs and chicken for everyone and we all loved his delicious meals. If you could still move after eating, there was always a game of horse shoes, hoops, cards or even a few wicked games of croquette. Jack also loved music. As a kid in high school he and some of his buddies would often get together and sing. His love for music carried over into his adult life as he played his harmonica and sang while his wife Elda played the accordion and piano accompanied by their son, Jack on his guitar. They often went to country dances before and after their children were born.
Jack loved the state of Wyoming and traveled it extensively with his wife and family exploring the beautiful mountains and scenery in whatever direction they chose to go. Jack retired from the Amoco Refinery after 37 years of service. Still in the exploring mode, Jack and his wife, Elda became Arizona snowbirds for several years. Their winter travels even took them to Globe, Parker, Lake Havasu and on to Florida to spend time with their son, Jack in his beautiful beach front home. They loved Arizona but were always ready to get back to Wyoming. In later years when they became unable to travel on their own for health reasons, they would winter at the Jack’s guest house in Weatherford Texas for the next 5 years. There they spent many hours in the sun by the pool relaxing but waiting ever so impatiently to get back home to Wyoming. Due to health reasons Jack and Elda moved to Sundance in 2010 to live with their daughter and son-in-law Gayla and Buck Bock. In April of 2012 Jack’s wife Elda of 66 years, passed away and in July he had to sell their home of many years at Goose Egg. He had just celebrated his 87th birthday in February and passed peacefully in his sleep with his daughter Gayla, son-in-law Buck and grandson Harley by his side.
Jack was blessed by help and visits from his newly acquired step family JJ and Leia Bock and their children Logan and Amber, Chance and Charity Bock and Brielle, Brian Bock and Misty, Augusta and Nick Viergets and Evan and Madi. Most recently Jack had the opportunity to meet his great great grand daughter, Reece from Casper. He truly enjoyed having the young ones around.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents John and Marcia Johnson, sister Cuba, brothers Louie and Bill, wife Elda and her parents Wallace and Lida Stout, and a daughter Merry Moore. Survivors include his son John R. Johnson III of Weatherford, Texas, daughter Gayla (Buck) Bock of Sundance, Wyoming, son-in-law Butch (Maxine) Moore of Casper, Wyoming, grand kids Frank (Cori) Moore of Casper, Wyoming, Harley Eppler and fiancé Jessica Koller of Portland, Oregon, Devin Eppler and fiancé Lonnie Gines of Fort Worth Texas, step grand kids JJ (Leila) Bock of Sundance, Wyoming, Brian Bock and Misty Smith of Sundance, Wyoming, Chance (Charity) Bock of Gillette, Wyoming, Augusta (Nick) Viergets of Spearfish, South Dakota, great grand kids, Richard Moore and Brooklyn Moore of Casper, Wyoming, great great grand kids Reece Moore of Casper, Wyoming, and step great great grand kids Logan Smith and Amber Bock of Sundance, Wyoming, Evan and Madi Viergets of Spearfish, South Dakota and Brielle Bock of Gillette, Wyoming.
Jack was a very proud and private man of few words who blessed the lives of many and was deeply touched by all those he met.