Kuhler Funeral Home

A family is a legacy of love, a love that lasts forever.

Chesley Thom Johnson

Thom Johnson, age 59, of Carpenter, died suddenly Sunday, December 11, 2011, at Huron Regional Medical Center.  A memorial service was held Friday, December 16th at 4:30 pm at the Methodist Church in Carpenter with Pastors Fawn Lamb and Rod Poppinga officiating.  Memorials in Thom’s honor may be made to the HRMC Community Hospice program or the Beadle County Humane Society. 

Thom Johnson was born March 22, 1952, in Seattle Washington, to Wayne and Beverly Johnson.  He graduated from Chief Sealth High School in 1970 and lived most of his life in Seattle.  He began his professional career after training as a journeyman carpenter and worked for some years doing residential and commercial construction, before moving into facilities/engineering/ property management.  Thom was an accomplished craftsman – talented in everything he attempted, a “jack of all trades” and very artistic. 

From 1984 to 1993, Thom worked for Generra Sportswear, managing the corporate office buildings, showroom and company stores, and warehouse facilities, in addition to supervising his “girls”, the receptionists.  In 1994, Thom began his fifteen-year career with the Puget Sound Blood Center in the facilities and engineering department.  He was an outstanding manager and true mentor to those he worked with. 

Thom was the proud father of five daughters and four grandchildren.  In 1984, Thom married his wife of 27 years, Janice (Jann) Lein Johnson, and became part of the large extended Saboe/Iverson/McMillan/Opsahl family of the Carpenter/Huron area.  Thom spent the majority of his life in Seattle and first visited South Dakota 1992.  In 2000, he and Jann began making annual visits with her mother Carmen, and Thom fell in love with the landscape, the community, and the people.  He loved the South Dakota commute versus the Seattle commute, gladly exchanging it in February 2009 when he and Jann relocated to Carpenter with her Mom.  Thom loved the sense of community he found in South Dakota, making many new friends, and was happy to share his appreciation with those who visited.

Thom was a doting and loving father to his daughters and dearly loved their company.  He was so proud of them and enjoyed seeing them grow into accomplished young women.  However, being the only male among so many females, he was thrilled when the first grandson came along and was a very hands-on Papa to Salvador.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife Jann and his special canine companion, Kiki; and in Washington his beloved family: daughters, Melissa, Heidi and Elisabeth Johnson and bonus daughter, Stacy (Mace) Roberts; his grandchildren, Salvador, Kailin, Nicholas and Avery; his parents, Beverly and David Macquarrie and Jean Johnson; his brothers, Tim and Ted Johnson and Mike Popke (Wendy); two sisters, Sue Callahan (Pete) and Cheryl Mustard; sister- and brother-in-law, Candi and Terry Hayes and daughter Kelsey; sister-in-law, Chris Diepenbrock; special double-cousins, Mike, Cheryl, Linda and Susie and their families; many nieces and nephews; his work families and “blood brother” Joe Stokosa, in addition to countless friends, co-workers, and Jann’s large extended family.

Preceding Thom in death were his daughter, Kirsten Meacham; his father, Wayne Johnson, his parents-in-law, Chesley and Carmen Lein; his maternal and paternal grandparents; two very special longtime friends, Scott Neubauer and Tony Elmlinger; and his two beloved dogs, Toby and Mandy. 

Some people come into our lives and quietly go,
others stay for a while
 and leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never the same”

This was Thom.

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