With her children by her side, Virginia Johnson, 94, passed away peacefully in Idaho Falls, from natural causes. She leaves a legacy of love, service, and a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ to her four surviving children, 29 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren.
She was born at the home of her grandparents in Cove, Utah, on October 2, 1924, the second of four children of Charles Angus "Gus" and Rella Titensor Pond. Most of her formative years were spent in Idaho Falls. Raised in a musical home and blessed with a naturally beautiful soprano voice, she was active in high school choir and theater, even playing the lead of Yum Yum in the operetta Mikado as a freshman. While raising her family she was a member of the Singing Mothers and Choralaires choirs and was often invited to sing at funerals. In later years their love of music brought Virginia and her siblings around the piano, harmonizing on their favorite old songs. These were sweet times and brought lasting memories.
Shortly after graduation from Idaho Falls High School she met Hal R. Johnson, recently returned from the Brazil Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Hal was smitten. When a mutual friend and suitor left for World War II and jokingly said, "Hal, take care of my girl!," he did. Two months later on January 19, 1943, they were married in the Logan Temple. Days later Hal was himself dispatched for basic training in the Army Air Corps in preparation for active duty in the war. At the war's end, Hal returned home to his beloved Virginia and their first son, Michael. They were subsequently blessed with four other children, Wendy, Craig, Jill, and Deron.
Hal and her children were her primary focus and home was a happy place to be. She was a nurturing, patient mother, loving yet firm, and taught her children to work and be responsible adults. She was a spotless housekeeper, loved gardening and cooking, and was still canning peaches at the age of 85. Virginia was active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving in all the women's auxiliaries. Always at Hal's side, she served with him as he presided over the church's Brazil North Mission from 1968-1971, and from 1984 to 1987, she ministered as matron of the Sao Paulo, Brazil Temple where Hal was president. During these years she became fluent in Portuguese and for the remainder of her life never refused an invitation to sing Happy Birthday in her second language, much to the delight of those present. In their golden years she and Hal found great joy in supporting their grandkids and great-grandkids, traveling, and just being together. Her brother once commented that you never thought of them as just "Hal" or just "Virginia." They were always "Hal and Virginia."
Nonetheless, with Hal's passing in 2004, she carried on with pragmatism and good cheer, two of her most admirable qualities. When her health declined she made the conscious decision to sell her car and condo and move to Bonaventure (now MorningStar) Senior Living where she spent the last eight years of her life. Through those years she maintained her marvelous sense of humor, and gentle and kind disposition. She will be dearly missed not only by her posterity, but by all who knew her. The family is indebted to the marvelous staff at MorningStar, her wonderful friends, and the compassionate nurses from Encompass Home Health for the unconditional love and care they have given our Mom.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Hal; daughter, Jill; daughter-in-law, Rebecca; sister, Gloria Jensen; and brother, Robert Pond. She is survived by children, Michael (Meg) Johnson of Springville, UT; Wendy (Greg) Rose of Blackfoot; Craig (Lenora) Johnson of South Jordan, UT; and Deron (Kim) Johnson of Mesa, AZ; a sister, Marilyn Bengtson of Lewiston, ID; and her numerous posterity.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 9, 2019, at the Stanfield Ward Building, 1925 E. 49th South with Bishop Jerrod Thompson officiating. The family will visit with friends on Thursday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Wood East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road and Friday from 10-10:45 a..m. prior at the church. She will be laid to rest at the side of her eternal companion in the Idaho Falls Fielding Memorial Park cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Fund at ldsphilanthropies.org.