Jerry J. Johnson
Funeral Services will be 10:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 747 Ann St, Chadron, NE with Pastor Ann Sundberg officiating. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron. Visitation will be held on Monday, September 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron.
Jerry J. Johnson, 88, Chadron, NE, died August 29, 2016 at Chadron Community Hospital.
Jerry was born July 29, 1928 to Ward and Ocho Johnson in Franklin, NE. He graduated as Valedictorian of his Red Cloud, NE high school class in 1946. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army where he served until 1948. He served a tour of duty in Korea during that time.
In the fall of 1948, Jerry enrolled in the University of Nebraska. He was very active in student activities including Alpha Gama Rho fraternity and the Kosmet Klub, a campus wide all male club that included another member by the name of Johnny Carson. As a result of his campus leadership, he was chosen a member and president of the Innocents Society, the Chancellor’s Senior Honorary. Each spring, only 13 members of the junior class are chosen to carry on the Society’s goals and traditions.
After finishing his university studies, Jerry put his agriculture degree to work by leasing a farm at Red Cloud. During his time at the university, he had met and charmed a city girl, Lincoln native Lois Larson, into accepting his marriage proposal. They both received their degrees in the spring of 1952 then, in November, “after the corn was in the bin”, they were married. Jerry and Lois’s two daughters, Lorrie and Becky, were both born in Red Cloud.
After 10 years of farming, Jerry made the decision to change careers. The family moved to Ogallala, NE in 1962 where he took the position as the Ag Loan Officer at the First National Bank. In 1967, Jerry accepted the position of President of the Bank of Chadron, one of the 13 Abbott owned banks. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jerry left a rich legacy of community service in each of the towns he lived in. He served on various church councils, school boards, the Jaycees, and Chamber of Commerce both at the local and state level. Specifically in Chadron, Jerry was among the original organizers of the Ridgeview Country Club, served on the Chadron State Foundation Board for 35 years, long time member of the hospital board, Chamber Ambassadors, and 8 years on the City Council. Jerry maintained 52 years of perfect attendance of weekly meetings with Rotary International. This was accomplished by making up meetings at a Rotary club wherever he was that week, even outside the United States.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Lois Johnson, Chadron, daughters, Lorrie Johnson Bauer (Randy), Chadron, Becky Johnson Hollibaugh (Greg), Rapid City, SD, sister Jeannie Pope (Cleo), David City, NE, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jackie Watson.
A memorial has been established for the Immanuel Lutheran Church. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.