Keith Merlin Johnson, a “Gentle Giant,” passed away Sept. 14, 2020, at the University of Utah hospital after suffering a heart attack Sept. 1. He was born Nov. 29, 1937, in Spanish Fork, Utah, to Jonathon Franklin Johnson Sr. and Irene Carr. He was the 12th of 13 children.
Keith graduated from Spanish Fork High School and Provo Trade Tech.
Keith married Evelyn Hiatt on April 20, 1962, in the Manti Temple. They made their home in Tooele for the next 58 years. He enjoyed living in a small town and made many friends here. They have three children.
Keith worked for Safeway and Albertsons for a combined 39 years. Keith served in many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including a service mission at Welfare Square for 18 months where his experience in working in grocery stores was very helpful. He also enjoyed serving in the temple as a patron in the Salt Lake Temple every week for 19 years after he retired in 2001.
Keith was a loving husband and father. When asked what was important to him, he said his wife and family. His actions throughout his life confirmed that statement. He led an exemplary life in what matters most. He was thoughtful, humble, kind, meek and loving to his children and those who got to know him. He delighted in seeing children happy and they were drawn to him. His hobbies included bowling on many leagues for over 50 years. He enjoyed associating with his bowling friends. Fittingly, his last activity the day of his heart attack was bowling and eating lunch with his wife. He also enjoyed collecting baseball hats, ties and other memorabilia. He had a sense of humor (dry) and could often be found chuckling and smiling. He also was an avid fan of the Utah Jazz. If you wanted to know what happened, you could rely on his excellent memory to give you the facts.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Blair Franklin, Mary Leora Bell Taylor Washburn, Mable Irene (Raymond) Peterson, Blaine Carr, Jonathon Franklin Jr, Daughter Johnson, Anna Jean (George Eldon) Jones, David Le Roy (Blanche) Johnson, Barbara (Alton) Bills, Duane Hugh, Janice Kay (Stephen) Leavitt and Sharon Betty.
Keith is survived by his wife Evelyn; his children Carolyn Rasband, Diane (Lonnie) Willardson, and Larry Duane (Maria) Johnson; and special niece Cathy (Laron) Johnson and special nephew Blaine (Kathleen) Bills; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Both will be held at the 11/14th Ward church building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 180 S. Coleman St., Tooele, Utah. He will be laid to rest in the Payson Cemetery following the funeral. Social distancing and masks would be appreciated.