Sarah Elaine Johnson passed away peacefully at her home in Genola on July 20, 2018. She was 79 years old.
Elaine was born October 1, 1938 to Lucille Martin and Francis Lynn Johnson. When she was little, her family moved from Orem to Mesa, Arizona, where she slept on top of the family’s chicken coop at night to stay out of the dirt and bugs. Elaine’s family moved back to Utah a few years later, and she spent the rest of her life there.
Elaine was the third of five siblings. She loved her brothers and sisters dearly and always shared lots of fun memories from her childhood.
She married her sweetheart, Kyle Johnson, on July 29, 1955. Elaine graduated from Utah Valley College with a degree in accounting. This degree served her well—she handled all of the office work for a number of different companies, including the company she and Kyle started, K.E. Painting.
Elaine could always work circles around everyone, even in her 60s and 70s. When Kyle was burned badly in a fire and unable to work, she opened a costume shop in Orem. She sewed the costumes herself and used the money she made to help support her family while Kyle recovered.
Kyle and Elaine spent 63 years together having all sorts of adventures: camping, fishing, golfing, riding horses, gardening, cheering on the BYU cougars, and raising kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.
Elaine loved being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She spent decades working for the church’s name extraction genealogy program (or “working on her dead people,” as she called it), and she and Kyle served a mission in Nauvoo. They also served in the Provo LDS temple, a calling that was originally supposed to last just two years, but that Elaine kept doing for 10 ½ years. She absolutely loved serving in the temple and always talked about going back as soon as she was well enough.
But Elaine’s favorite thing of all was being a grandma. Almost everyone knew her as Grandma Sarah, because she treated every child she met like one of her own grandkids. All the neighborhood kids loved going to Grandma Sarah’s — she always had enough love (and candy) to share with everyone. She kept her house stocked with ice cream, Snaps, soda and Propel, and she made sure everyone who came over went away fed and stuffed with sugar.
Grandma Sarah’s whole world revolved around the gospel and her family. She was known for her incredible faith. Everyone knew that if you needed blessings, you called Grandma Sarah and asked her to pray for you. We were all convinced that her prayers were always answered because Heavenly Father didn’t dare tell her no, especially when it came to her grandkids. If He ever tried we have no doubt she would’ve walk-stomped her way up to Heaven and given the angels there a piece of her mind.
Grandma loved taking her grandkids and even great grandkids on adventures, and they all have memories of hikes to caves, fishing trips, tent campouts in her living room, epic Easter egg hunts, crazy 4th of July fireworks parties, and of having Grandma at every soccer match, school play, and dance recital. She once said, “I’m not the kind of Grandma who bakes cookies and plays the piano, but I’ll always make sure you go fishing and camping.” She lived up to that promise.
She had a great sense of humor, and never minded when her family teased her about things like her loud “stomp walk,” her habit of waking up at 5 am and vacuuming even when she had grandkids sleeping in her basement apartment, her propensity to drive too fast and run over curbs, tromping around in her tiny nighties while Kyle warned her “Don’t bend over Elaine!” or breaking her toe when she somehow managed to suck it up in the vacuum.
Grandma was always serving someone. She absolutely loved doing things for people, especially her family. And she made sure that each of her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids knew they were the most important thing in the world to her. She had an incredible way of seeing only the best in her family, and we all knew she loved us no matter what. If we ever needed anything at all, Grandma Sarah would be there.
She is survived by her husband Kyle, her siblings Frank, Dianne, Marna, and Wayne, her children Kevin (Julie) Johnson, Jodi (Mark) Washburn, and Paul (Angie) Bellus, 14 grandkids, and 16 great grandkids.
There will be a viewing Friday, July 27th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Brown Family Mortuary, 66 S 300 E in Santaquin, Utah. There will be another viewing Saturday, July 28th from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at the Genola L.D.S. church on the corner of Center Street and Main Street. The funeral will be held directly afterward at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at the Santaquin City cemetery.
We were so lucky to have Grandma Sarah for as long as we did, and we know she’ll be watching over us and bragging to all the heavenly host about how amazing her posterity is. Thanks for everything Grandma Sarah — we love you!