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Gary Lee Johnson, 65, passed away Aug. 20 as a result of a massive heart attack. Although this tragedy was unexpected, Gary’s wife, children and grandchildren were able to be by his side at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Gary lived a life that reflected his faith in God. He led and taught his family to love and honor God. His greatest joy was serving his family and spending time with them. He passed on his love for God’s creation to his kids and grandkids by teaching them to hunt, fish, camp, and appreciate all the beauty of the earth. He also taught them an exemplary work ethic by example, and to be good stewards of all they had been given.
Gary was born in Portland to Charles and Esther Johnson. He dropped out of high school at 16, and later earned his GED so he could enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He served a tour of duty for one year in Vietnam as a preflight captain, and was honorably discharged after four years of service. He later became an employee of the United States Postal Service, working in Bend and Redmond. He studied and worked to further his career in the management program. He retired as Postmaster of the Burns Post Office in Burns.
A native Oregonian, Gary moved his wife and son in 2009 to Omaha, Neb., to be able to be present in the daily lives of his daughter and family. For the last four years, he took his family on fishing trips, cheerleaded his grandchildren on in their music and sporting events, and led by Godly example. He was always most comfortable and happy at the barbecue for family and friend gatherings. His yeast rolls were an anticipated delight at every holiday and special occasion meal.
His dream of working at a sporting store was realized when he became an employee of Bass Pro Shop in Council Bluffs, where he worked until his death.
Gary married the love of his life, Dona Oliver, May 17, 1975. Together, they raised their family and served each other through 38 years of trials and joys.
He is survived by his wife; his daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Matt Wisecarver; his three grandchildren, Kyle, Maddison and Joshua; his son, Jeremiah and fiancé, Staci Hess; son, Reggie Holcomb and family; sisters, Betty Wolfe, Margie Wallace, Mary Forseth; brother, Robert Johnson; brother-in-law and wife, Gene and Anne Zimmerman; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Charles Johnson.
A Homegoing Service will be held at Emmaus Bible Church, 4501 S. 23rd Street, Omaha, Neb., at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, which is also his birthday. A cake reception will follow.
A service will be held in the spring in the Owyhee Mountains of Oregon, where he hunted with his son, Jeremiah. His wishes were to have his ashes spread there.
Memorials may be sent to Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Neb.; Faith Baptist Church in Hines;, Trinity Lutheran Church in Bend; or to the Metropolitan Community College Gary Johnson Culinary Scholarship, established by AC Nelsen RV World.
Braman Mortuary, 1702 N. 72nd St., Omaha, Neb., handled arrangements according to Gary’s wishes for cremation and organ donation.