Dona Jean Kirk Nelson Johnson, 91, passed away peacefully in her home in Redmond, Utah, on July 1, 2019. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother and was dearly loved by all who knew her.
Jean was born February 24, 1928, to Alfred Leslie Kirk and Leah Swenson in Magna, Utah. She was the second of five children. Her family would include three sisters: Joy, Norma, and Carol; and one brother, K. She attended Webster Grade School, Cyprus Junior and Senior High School and Utah State University.
At an early age she began singing, giving readings and acting in plays in church and school. She was only five when she sang her first solo, and while she was at Utah State she toured all over the state for the 1947 centennial production of "Angel Street."
Also while at USU she met Andrus Dee Nelson, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 12, 1947. They welcomed four children: Patti Jean (John), Larry Dee (Sharon), Debra Gay (Conrad) and David Kirk.
Jean worked for Harman’s Kentucky Fried Chicken for 14 years managing several of their stores in the Salt Lake Area. She managed the original store on 3900 South and State Street.
In 1969 Jean and Dee bought the New Motel and the Western Motel in Evanston, Wyoming and ran them for ten years. They bought a home in Alpine, Wyoming, and enjoyed spending summers in Wyoming and winters at a home they later bought in St. George.
In February 1987 Dee died of cancer. In June of 1988, Jean married U’Dell Johnson of Redmond, Utah. He had six children, whom Jean loved as her own: Sue, John (deceased) (Julie), Gordon (Tammy), Valerie (Terry), Eliza (Norman), and Jody (Jill).
Jean and U’Dell had 20 good years together, spending much of their time traveling to Europe, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and every state but Maine. They also spent six years on missions throughout the United States, which was a great blessing to them and their families.
U’Dell passed away from cancer in March 2008. Jean continued to live in Redmond and stayed active until the end of her life; she even went swimming the day she died!
Between her own and U’Dell’s posterity, Jean claims 10 children, 51 grandchildren, 144 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren. Her generosity helped finance dozens of missionaries on their missions, and she remembered to send literally hundreds of birthday cards every year, each with ten dollars tucked inside. She is remembered by her large family for living a righteous, full life, and she leaves behind a legacy of faith, perseverance, generosity, and resilience.
Funeral services will be held Monday, July 8, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Redmond 1st Chapel, where friends may call Sunday evening from 6-8 p.m. or Monday from 9:30 to 10:30. Burial will be in the Moroni Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com