Victor & Orville Johnson

Victor Johnson was born April 26th, 1932 to James and Agnes Johnson in Laramie.  He went home to Jesus on May 18th, 2021.  

Orville Johnson was born on November 3rd, 1956 in Laramie, Wyoming to Victor and Mary Johnson.  He went home to Jesus on May 16th, 2021. 

Please join us for a Celebration of Life on Tuesday, May 25th at 1pm at the Albany County Fairgrounds Grandstands with a reception following at the Activities building.  If you have memories that you would like to share please email them to kyleandstacyberger@gmail.com.   

Today, I am going to tell you the story of two Godly men who lived their lives to the fullest and took advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ.  

It started 89 years ago when Victor “Poppy” Andrew Johnson was born on April 26th, 1932 to James and Agnes Johnson in Laramie, Wyoming.  He was the third out of four children.  Victor was ornerier than he looked.  There are many stories, some we can talk about and some we can’t, that have been told down the years about Victor.  One in particular involved an outhouse when he was seven years old.  His mother and sister were visiting the outhouse when they noticed a stream coming from a knothole in the wood of the john and soaking their laps.  When they realized what it was, they ran out of the outhouse screaming, to the great delight of Poppy.  The punishment he knew he was going to get was worth it him.  He also figured out a way to bottle the skunk scent in little bottles and use it for his purposes.  On one occasion, he decided his sisters boyfriends car needed some extra aroma so he placed some drops under the floor mats and on the exhaust. Their date that night was extra smelly. That boyfriend never did figure out why his car always smelled like a skunk.  

Victor completed eighth grade and started ranching with his father.  He would haul bulls down to Denver as a young teenager.  He met Mary Lathrop through the First Assembly of God church.  He wooed Mary with his beautiful singing voice and banjo playing. On one of their first dates, Poppy invited Grandma Mary to his families house for dinner.  They all bowed their heads to pray.  When everyone’s eyes were closed and they were thanking God for their blessings and food, Poppy was putting a large helping of mashed potatoes on Grandma Mary’s dinner plate.  When the prayer was over and everyone opened their eyes, all were quite astonished to see that Mary had helped herself to a large portion of food.  The embarrassment was almost too much for Mary as her face turned multiple shades of red.  Poppy was pretty happy with himself.  God brought them together in Marriage on May 7th, 1952 where his musical talents came to an abrupt end, to the great annoyance of Mary for the rest of their 62 years of marriage.  

They had two sons Jerry and Orville Johnson.  According to Orville, they had Jerry and they thought that they could do betterso they had another son, and he thought, that they thought, he was perfect, so they stopped having children.  And this continued the legacy of the Johnson 99 Ranch.  

Orville was born on November 3rd, 1956 in Laramie, Wyoming.  Around the time of Orville’s birth, Victor, along with his father and brothers, Leonard and Kenny, decided it was time to liquidate the Hereford cattle, buy Angus cattle and split the ranch into different ranches.  Victor’s sister, Mary got married to a preacher man and moved to Washington.  

Poppy led his family through the trials and tribulations of the ranch life.  Regardless of what they faced, he and Mary placed all challenges at Jesus’ feet and nothing could be a testament to that more than when he lost his brother Kenny at a very young age, when he was hit from behind by a drunk driver on I-80.  Poppy’s focus and love revolved around his ranching lifestyle.  There is no place that he would rather be than riding horses,feeding cattle, irrigating hay fields, haying, and telling his grandchildren they needed to be kicked. Poppy and Mary led their flock, now 7 generations strong, to embrace their faith in everything they do and say and to trust God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and this has evolved into some of the strongest individuals you will ever meet.  

Part of the Johnson family tradition was to sit around pickin’ and grinnin’; holidays, family gatherings, any time they could take a few minutes off from ranching.  This is where Orville’s love for singing and playing the guitar was born and developed.  The Drovers Band came into action and their first gig was at the High School Rodeo in Laramie.  

Orville would take his rolls of cash that he had earned playing in the band, into the Bank of Laramie.  Dick VanPelt would watch him make a bee line for a certain teller or he would hang around killing time until she was available.  This kept happening over and over and people started taking bets on how many times Orville would visit Lindy at the Bank each week.  They started dating and on one date they were sitting in his car. Orville bet Lindy a penny that he could kiss her without touching her.  Lindy, with her competitive nature, accepted the bet and knew she couldn’t lose.  So Orville kissed her and said, “You won the bet! Here is your penny!”.   Orville and Lindy were married on September 12th, 1981.  Orville continually teased Lindy and always told their children that Lindy was the one who proposed marriage to him.  

They had their oldest daughter Samantha on March 6th, 1983 in Laramie during a horrible snow storm and it took them two hours to get to the hospital from the ranch.  According to Stacy, she thought, they thought they could do better and eighteen months later, they had another daughter.  She was perfect so they stopped having children. They had Stacy at the ranch with two midwives and Orville caught her in his arms as she was born.  

Some of Orv’s proudest moments was when he walked both of his daughters down the aisle on their wedding days.  After he lifted his daughters veils, he would pull their spouses and them close together and whisper into their ears, “Just remember, the most important thing, is to serve the Lord.”  When Stacy and Kyle told Orville they were expecting he would always say, “I am so excited” then he would look at Kyle with disgust and say, “I kind of want to hurt you”.  He loved each of his grandchildren with an incredible love and desire to disciple and guide.  In the more recent years, Orv and Lindy took in many individuals who needed a place to stay for awhile or a place to work to get back on their feet.  Orv not only loved his family but he made all who were around him feel like family.  He also chose to love many young individuals as his own.  So many of you have adopted him as your dad and he filled the role beautifully.  Orv did not hesitate to speak truth, even though sometimes you didn’t want to hear it.  He loved helping others learn how to train horses and invited people to bring their horses to the ranch to work through different challenges.  Orv would tell his daughters, “make sure when you get off your horse, he is a little better than when you got on”.  

Orv loved to tell jokes!  You can probably recall a joke that you have heard from Orv.  Most of his jokes were appropriate, some not as appropriate.  Most were at appropriate times, some at not the most appropriate times.  Samantha and Stacy would tell their dad, “We are going to town, so please try not to be yourself” and then they would all laugh.  Orville never missed an opportunity to tell people that he taught his daughters everything they know and we was absolutely right.  

Orville loved to squish faces.  He would grab the back of your head with one hand and with the other he would squish your nose.  If you have ever had this happen, you knew he loved you.  Orville was always coming up with ways to do things differently or better and he became quite the inventor.  Just recently he created an easy gate opener and was in the process of getting it ready to be marketed.  The family will continue to complete this project that Orville started.  God gave him the gift of creation and he didn’t waste it.  

Many of you have had the opportunity to experience the long standing family tradition of pickin’ and girnnin’ as Orville’s family entertains you with their songs and humor.  Along with Orville’s amazing musical talents, you couldn’t find a better horseman.  Ask the person sitting next to you and you can bet they have had a horse trained by Orv.  Almost every horse that is used on the ranch or by the grand children has the Orville Johnson “touch” in their training.  Although Orville could sing in front of hundreds of people, he didn’t love the leadership role, but God had different plans for him.  If Orville wasn’t speaking at church, assisting with High School Rodeo, Farm Bureau, Stockgrowers, rodeo queening, and Conservation District Events, in his spare time he and his “Woman” helped establish the Wyoming Draft and Driving Association and if that leadership wasn’t enough, God placed him in a position of ministry with the Rancher’s Gospel Band and Friday Night Live Events fulfilling God’s calling to grow God’s kingdom wherever he roamed.  Orville, honored his father and mother well.  Part of he, and Lindy’s ministry was taking care of Poppy, helping him to continue working on the ranch and including him in all things.They enjoyed the time they spent with him and served with humility and a servants heart.  

Anybody that really knew Poppy and Orville, knew that they were anxiously anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ and eternal life.  We will terribly miss both Poppy and Orville.  On the ranch, not one thing doesn’t remind us of them.  Today is a celebration of their walk home with their Lord and Savior and to the place God has prepared for them.  So many lives were touched by the life of Orville and Victor.  We are not able to share all of the stories today but we would really like you to email them to us so that we can put them in a special memory book to make sure his grandchildren and the generations to come will have these stories. 

Orville and Victor ran the race God had for them with endurance.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18. We have felt God close and we pray this for all of you.   Thank you for coming to celebrate with us.  

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Condolences (24)

  • Jennie Lawrence

    My condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Debbie

    My condolences to you all. Every time I would see Orville and Victor it was wonderful. It is so sad that they are gone. All of the Johnsons are a joy to be around. Bless you all.

  • John and Robin Riesland

    We were very sad to hear of the passing of Orv and Victor. Orv was a wonderful person, so nice and fun to be around. I went to school with Orv and sure enjoyed hanging out. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family. May the good Lord give you his strength and love.

  • Scott & April Sims

    I have known the Johnson’s many years. My Mom Mary and Orv’s Mom Mary were in the hospital when Jerry and I were born. Jerry a day older than me. The Mom’s stayed in touch. My first remembrance was at a Christmas play at Valley View School when all the Johnson families were playing music. Jerry and I graduated from high school where we were active in FFA. Orv was the little brother that all the girls had a crush on. Fond memories for April and I were when Orv was President of the Albany County Stockgrowers. Many early morning visits on the phone planning for events as I was the Treasurer and April did most of the work. And yes his laugh was contagious. From one long time ranch family to another our thoughts and prayers go out to you. We truly know that Orv and Vic are looking down and are very proud of their family. Scott & April Sims

  • Diane and Dick Trotter

    We were so sorry to hear the loss of Orv and Vic. They were such wonderful men and they will be missed greatly. Keep the memories close to your hearts.

  • Anonymous

    When ever I saw Orville headed my way it always brought a smile to my face. I will miss talking to him and sharing a laugh. Jerry G Gillespie

  • Kay Tyndall Brown

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family. Although Orv and Vic are with their Heavenly Father, they are sorely missed here. May the Lord comfort you in your time of sorrow.

  • Jack and Konnie

    In the short time we lived in Laramie this family took us under their wings and made us feel like family. In the blink if an eye our lives can change! May the comfort of our Lord and savior be with you during this time of adjustment! You are all in our prayers! Hugs With much love from Montana

  • Anonymous

    I am at a loss for words. Orv and Vic were truly gentlemen. They are with the King in a supreme place waiting for all of us. May our God wrap His comforting arms around you all in this difficult time. With our sincere Sympathy to the Johnson family. Roy and Nancy Kern

  • Mike & Vickie Carrick

    Both are salt of the earth and now enjoying all the glories of Heaven. Miss them very much.

  • Cathy Moen

    I was so saddened to hear of the passing of Orville and Vic. Orville was a high school classmate and friend to everybody. He was a happy guy and his laugh was genuine. The last time we crossed paths was at a roping class. We kidded and teased each other on our roping skills, although he was quite good, he wasn't opposed to directing the humor at himself. Such humble man. He will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, but especially to Lindy, Samantha, and Stacy.

  • Eric Engen

    I'm so saddened when I heard of Orv and Victor's passing. Orv was my friend and I really like him . I went to high school with him. Always enjoy my time with him. My deepest condolences to the Johnson family. They will be missed.

  • Anonymous

    I was just listening to the gentle voice of Orv singing the Cowboy Way of Life and thinking that him and his family are truly salt of the Earth. I wish more people lived like him and his father, the world would be a better place. I always enjoyed visiting with them because I've never met two guys that enjoyed life so much and laughed as full hearted as them. They will be truly missed and I'm so sorry for your loss.

  • Steve and Holly Beumee

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this very difficult time. May God give you the strength to carry on during the days that lie ahead.

  • Steve and Holly

    Dear Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May you find comfort in the memories that you share. May God bless you and give you strength to forge ahead.

  • Sherry

    To the Johnson family. I’m so sorry for your loss. Victor and Orville we’re the nicest gentlemen I have ever met. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • Janice Sexton

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers; two wonderful men that will be missed so very much by so many. They are finally home with their Heavenly Father and you will indeed be reunited one day. God Bless you all. Janice Sexton

  • Sage McMicheal

    You guys are in our prayers, I’m so so sorry for your loss

  • Bernice Cox

    To the Johnson Family. I'm so sorry for your loss. I remember all the times we went to church and the Johnson family would always be there. You all were such an inspiration to me. I remember laughing a lot those days. So many funny stories. Orv and Victor were so kind and always spoke kind words and shook your hand. I will be praying for the whole family. May God bless all of you. Words can't express how I feel. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I love you all. Bernice Cox

  • Steve Curtright

    Orv was a great guy. I have known him and his family for many years! Orv and Victor where always helping out somewhere! They will be missed. Blessed they both are home now! Prayers for the family!

  • Anonymous

    To the JOHNSON family from the Bottom family. Our father Tom Bottom was the water commissioner for Albany County and got to know the JOHNSON family really well. We also went to school with Orville... what a wonderful man. Our condolences.

  • George & Holly Golen

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of your family. No words can say all that should be said about Orv and Vic. We will always remember their sense of humor and their kindness. May the Lord grant you peace in the days ahead.

  • Judy and Kelly Robertson

    Johnson Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. Our sincere condolences to your family. Heaven just received two honest, honorable, and one of a kind gentleman. Believing in faith, they will always be remembered and absolutely never forgotten! Judy and Kelly Robertson

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