Derald Gene Johnson, age 71, of Loveland, Colo., passed away in his home on Aug. 26, 2016, surrounded by family.
Derald was born to Leonard Reuben Johnson and Lela Mae Mills in Comstock, Neb. on Nov. 21, 1944, in a feather bed on the family farm. He lived in Hay Springs, Neb. during the blizzard of ’49, later moving with his family to Gordon, Neb., where he spent most of his life and always considered home. He loved the majestic Rocky Mountains and Nebraska Sandhills as they brought him a sense of peace as he spent time with the Lord. Derald was a great athlete, making it to state in track when he was a Senior in high school. He was also a huge football fan, not only playing on the GHS team, but also a passionate Cornhusker and Denver Broncos fan!
Derald and Ila Mae Muck were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Gordon, Neb. on June 23, 1963. After graduation, Derald attended Chadron State College, and later worked for Kansas Nebraska Natural Gas. In 1972, he bought the Conoco Service Station in Gordon, which he ran until moving to Colorado in 1981. He owned and operated the Loveland Alpine Liquor store, which he sold in 1984. He then went to work for the City of Longmont where he shared an office with his beloved shop cat Sassy. He stayed there until his retirement in 2011.
Derald loved his family and pets with all his heart and they equally loved him back. Large family gatherings were always something he looked forward to. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ila Mae Johnson; 5 children: Jerry Johnson of Loveland, Colo., Becky (Nick) Brace of Johnstown, Colo., Lisa Harrison of Berthoud, Colo., Amy Johnson of Loveland, Colo. and Michelle Johnson (Andy Jacobs) also of Loveland, Colo. He has 13 grandchildren, listed in respective order: Aaron Johnson, Brittany Johnson, and Mark Johnson (who preceded him in death). Chris Orr, Matt, Jeff and Nick Fredricey, Caleb Ferrara, Hannah Brace, Andrew Mock, Jordan and Tanner Harrison and Serenity Jacobs. He is also survived by his great-grandsons Joseph and Blaine Orr, a sister Elaine Winters of Grand Junction, Colo., brother Ronald (Nellie) Johnson of Blackhawk, S.D., brother Rodney (Cathy) Johnson of Kearney, Neb., sister-in-law Donna Jensen and her husband Ronnie of Gordon, Neb., brother-in-law Gary Muck of Gordon, Neb., sister-in-law Sharon Muck as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Although it was difficult for Derald to part this earth due to his longing to remain with his family, he is once again reunited with his grandson Mark, his nephew Curt and both of his parents-especially his father whom he lost at the young age of 13. We all look forward to the day when we can have large family gatherings in heaven. He will be deeply missed until then!
2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Funeral Services are held on Sept. 6, 2016, 10:30 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in Gordon, Neb. with burial to follow in the Gordon Cemetery. Memorial services to be held in Loveland, Colo. to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Ila Mae Johnson at 1244 Bowwood Dr., Loveland, CO 80538.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.