William Clifton “Billy” Johnson, 82, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff.
He was born on March 31, 1933 at Ogallala, Neb. to Nels and Myrtle (Dancer) Johnson. He grew up on various ranches in the Sandhills and Wyoming returning to attend high school in Ogallala.
On April 12, 1957 he was united in marriage to Deanna Lyn Hayward.
For 53 years he ranched in Sheridan County north of Lakeside. Billy took great pride in being a Cowman and caring for his animals. He retired from ranching in 2006 and moved to Alliance building a barn, planting roses and keeping busy. Then he applied and was hired to drive for Railcrew Xpress driving railroad crews to the trains. He enjoyed that for 3 years retiring again on Nov. 14, 2011. Many health problems over the years kept him from doing all he wanted to do as he enjoyed working hard for long hours and didn’t understand those that didn’t. Some people thought he was a gruff man when he was actually a softy, petting the cats and holding them on his lap while he read hundreds of mystery books. He was a member of the American Hereford Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.
He is survived by his wife, Deanna, his daughter, Deborah Lois (B.J.) Hartley of Aurora, Colo., his son, James Jay (Jodi) Johnson of Hemingford, eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Nels and two infant children that were stillborn, his granddaughter, Lisa Lyn Swisher, his sisters, Florence Smith, Frances Adams, Pauline Jasnoch and Lillian Vasa, and his brother, Ed Johnson.
Graveside services will be Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1:00 p.m. at the Whitman Cemetery with Butch Abold officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home.
Memorials may be given to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.