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Clarence Douglas Johnson, 54, of Jardine, died at his home Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. Cremation has taken place at Franzen-Davis Crematory in Livingston. Graveside committal services and burial will be 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Jardine Cemetery.
Clarence was born Dec. 3, 1955, in Livingston, the son of Vern and Kathryn (Davis) Johnson. He grew up on the family ranch in the woods of southern Park County and became an accomplished trapper and hunter. He attended school, which came easy to him, in Gardiner, graduating from Gardiner High School in 1974. He always lived life on his own terms and cared nothing for material items. Clarence had a dream of going to Alaska and becoming a pilot and accomplished both in the late 1970s when he owned his own Cessna 172.
During six-month intervals spent in Alaska, he worked with reindeer operations in the state. In Montana, he worked as a guide and a builder. He was one of the original elk horn buyers and sent hundreds of tons of horns to Japan and Korea. He guided many an elk and sheep hunter and was able to captivate and entertain people from all walks of life. When it came to construction, he could build or fix anything, but his passion was building with logs.
Children were the highlight of Clarence's life. Although he never married and had no children of his own, he was an exceptional uncle, not only to his own nieces and nephews, but to hundreds of other kids over the years. He took many of them hunting, riding or snowmobiling. His smiling face was recognized throughout the community, and he always had time to help someone in need or to share an amusing story. Clarence was taken from us suddenly and will be sorely missed by all who loved his special charm. He will be missed by many and never, ever forgotten.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents; brother and sister-in-law, Earl and Carol Johnson; brother, Bill Johnson; sisters and brothers-in-law, Flora and Don Cameron and Verna and Jack Blackburn; and sisters, Gloria Olson and Frances Taylor. Survivors include his sister, Charlotte Johnson; brothers, Warren (Susan) Johnson, Ralph Johnson and Lloyd Johnson, all of Jardine; Vern (Barb) Adkins of Eatonville, Wash., Sonny (Loretta) Adkins and Tom (Martha) Adkins of Gardiner, Jack Adkins of Tucker, Ga., Ron Adkins of Billings, Mike (Maggie) Adkins of Old Chico; brother-in-law, Wendell Olson of Gardiner; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, including cousins Wayne and Gary Dolsman of Emigrant.
Clarence was a large man with a tremendously large heart. His kindness to all will be reminisced for many generations. Much to our chagrin, the Big Man Upstairs must have needed Clarence's company more than we did.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 24, 2010