Sheldon B Johnson passed away of acute leukemia on Aug. 17, 2016, at his home in St. George, where he loved to be. He was preceded in death by his wife, Leatrice, and is survived by his wife, LaVerna; his five sons; Kerry, Layne, Kris, Gale, Brett, and their wives. Sheldon was born to Joseph and Mabel Johnson on April 27, 1926, in the town of Tropic, Utah.
He served his country as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II. Afterwards, he became a successful Doctor of Optometry and active member of the community in the St. George, Utah, area.
Sheldon and Leatrice raised five good and honorable sons. After the passing of Leatrice, Sheldon met and married LaVerna Bringhurst. Together they have 45 wonderful grandchildren.
When their son, Layne, was born with Down syndrome, Sheldon and Leatrice determined to raise him as they would any other child. Their dedication defied conventions of the day and shaped Layne into an independent and capable man. Leatrice, LaVerna, Sheldon, and Layne repeatedly challenged stereotypes and redefined what is possible for people with disabilities.
Sheldon served for 42 consecutive years on the Washington County School Board. He led the creation of Millcreek High School, developed the first classroom unit for children with disabilities, and pioneered innovative school construction methods still in use today. Sheldon was also responsible for the discovery and preservation of petrified dinosaur science in St. George.
Sheldon could regularly be found working some piece of equipment on his farm. Even through his 80s and throughout his illness, he loved to work and create. Originally purchased as a way to teach his sons skills and work ethic, now the Johnson farm is a training ground for the world with the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.
Sheldon was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His legacy includes sharing his profound knowledge of the gospel and unwavering testimony with family, friends and even strangers. He strengthened others through example.
The family would like to thank so many people. We have been lifted by family, friendship and prayers in our behalf, and are so grateful to Dr. Te, his staff, and the IHC Infusion Center staff, where goodness, kindness, and skillful care radiate love. To those of you who donate blood often, our humble gratitude.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the non-profit educational foundation: DinosaurAH!torium, 2180 E, Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, 84790.
- Funeral services will be Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, at 11 a.m. at Foster Hills LDS Ward Chapel, 259 N. Mall Drive, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be Sunday, from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd. and Monday, prior to services, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the church.
- Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.