Gary Johnson, 76

Gary Lee Johnson, 76 of Holdrege, formerly of Kearney, passed away Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. Gary was born to Claude and Marjorie (Crosley) Johnson Aug. 14, 1936, in Mason City. He attended school in Kearney graduating from Kearney High School with the class of 1954. He pursued his B.A. at Montana State University and graduated with majors in art history, anthropology and Native American Indian studies and went on to obtain a masters degree in human resources at Colorado Technical University. Gary was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged April 29, 1955. In 1960, he was united in marriage to Jo Ann K. Sparks and two daughters were born: Heidi and Kara. The family made their home in Montana. Gary enjoyed LIFE - his daughters’ company, the companionship of his family and friends, spending time at KC Arabians in Holdrege, barn cats, playing pool at the Senior Center, working out at the Health Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, appointments with his cardiologist, Dr. Kirbakuran, his career with the US Army, genealogy, foreign language, traveling abroad, art, movies, music, theater, homemade ice cream, family reunions, and an occasional rum and coke. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Marjorie “Arlene” Russell. Gary is survived by his two daughters, Heidi Smith and her husband Vince of Santa Fe, N.M., Kara Crowell and her husband Scott of Holdrege; grandchildren, Eva and Hans Knipprath; nephew, Steve Russell and his wife Stacey; brother-in-law, Ron Russell and his wife Gerry; other friends and family. There will be no visitation as the family is honoring her wish for cremation. Private family services for Gary will be conducted at a later date. A memorial has been established in Gary’s honor and kindly suggested to the Nebraska Organ Donor Foundation or The Cancer Center at Good Samaritan Hospital. Expressions of caring, kindness, and prayers can be sent to the family at The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.Published in Custer County Chief March 14, 2013