Braxton "Kenneth" Johnson
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HIGHWOOD —Braxton "Kenneth" Johnson, 87, of Highwood, a farmer and rancher died on Friday, October 25, 2013 at his home on the ranch.
You are invited to a gathering at the Highwood Community Hall, 11:00 am, Saturday, November 2, 2013. All are welcome to share a meal and memories with the family.
Braxton "Kenneth" Johnson was born June 7, 1926 in Fort Benton, MT to Sidney and Clara (Walker) Johnson. He grew up on the ranch his Grandpa Walker homesteaded and attended school in Highwood; oftentimes riding his horse three miles to school. His school activities included playing the saxophone in the high school band and playing on the basketball team.
Following graduation, Kenny attended Montana State University in Bozeman during which time he enjoyed skiing at Bridger Bowl when there was only a rope tow! During one of his visits home from college, he attended a dance in Belt where he met the love of his life, Rosalie Pejko. Dad often said that the only regret in his life was not meeting Rosie sooner! They were married on May 20, 1950 taking her to live with him on the ranch where he lived until the time of his death.
Kenny's college education was interrupted in June of 1948 when he joined the Army Reserves. After completing basic training, he returned to the ranch until September of 1950 when he was called to active duty in Korea building bridges and roads. In 1951, he was honorably discharged and returned to his two loves - his bride and the ranch.
Kenny was a true steward of the land, lovingly caring for his crops and animals alike. A natural problem solver, Kenny could turn a conglomeration of parts of old machinery into a functional piece of equipment. Farmer, rancher, welder, and mechanic were some of the many "hats" he wore during his lifetime making him an indispensable asset to the farm. He also served his community as a school board member, serving as chair for many years. During this time, he was instrumental in constructing the cement outdoor basketball court on the playground that is still used by the children of Highwood.
Kenny loved his life on the ranch and loved his children and grandchildren, attending their school activities as long as his health allowed and always looking forward to family gatherings and birthday parties. He never wanted to be anywhere but on the ranch where he spent his 87 years. He died peacefully in his home on his beloved ranch surrounded by his family.
Survivors include his wife, Rosalie Johnson; a sister, Julie (Dave) Smith of Great Falls; two sons, Terry (Deb) of Missoula, Brian (Laurie) of Highwood; and daughter, Kendra Johnson Selser (Will) of Helena; seven grandchildren Briana (JD) McCrumb of Littleton, Colorado, Kristen (Shawn) Jewett of Aurora, Colorado, Lindsay Selser (Kyle Jackson) of Eugene, Oregon, Kaitlyn Selser of Chicago, Illinois, Jean (James) Willis of Great Falls, Kevin Johnson and Kim Johnson of Highwood; two and a half great grandchildren, Emily Willis and McKenzie McCrumb, and baby Selser/Jackson due to arrive in March 2014; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Sidney and Clara Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, Ken's family suggests memorials to Highwood Schools, Highwood Rural Fire Department or to the Shriners Children's Hospital.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Schnider Funeral Home
1510 13th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405-4501
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Oct. 29, 2013