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Matt Thomas Johnson March 13, 1933 - June 6, 2024

Our old buddy, old pal, Matt Thomas (Tom) Johnson, of Spanish Fork, passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

He was born March 13, 1933, to Oscar Matt and Annie Estella Thomas Johnson. As “a wee bit of a tot” his family moved from Spanish Fork to the farm when he was only 3 years old. The farm was his lifelong work from helping the family with sugar beets as a child to raking hay at 90.

Matt entered the service at age 20. He took all the training he could get in the Advance Airbourne Infantry so he could have made the jump with any of the artillery he was asked to. He wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself or others which often got him extra work. He spent the last 6 months of service working kitchen duty because of this.

When he returned from the service Matt was in the best shape of his life and thought he could move “purt near everything.” While working construction on the Mexican Hat bridge he injured himself moving large rocks. He tore ligaments in his upper body which left him unable to feed himself. Matt never forgot the kindness of the girls who nursed him back to health in those days.

In addition to construction, he worked at Geneva Steel where he stayed for several years.

He married Loretta Brunson and later divorced. They had one son, David Matt Johnson.

Injury was not uncommon for Matt. He experienced a broken heart, hands, ankles, neck, and back. He was tough, and often worked through the pain.

If he had a penny for every hour he spent working on the farm he’d be a rich man. After the 1983 flood he spent countless hours physically as well as everything he had financially into the huge project of regaining lost farmland from the river.

Matt was intrigued by the prospect of finding gold. He took many trips to the Superstitions and Uintahs hoping to solve the mystery of the mines.

Matt was always a lover of animals. He had many good dogs that accompanied him on his adventures into the mountains. He found great enjoyment in God’s creation and pondering the beauty of the earth. He was a scholar when it came to animal life, ever reading and watching National Geographic documentaries to increase his understanding. He couldn’t get enough.

Another love Matt had was horses. He had a respect for them and knew even at a young age that having a horse as a friend made him a better man. He had a passion for the bloodlines of race horses and got a thrill out of watching them race. He bred some that were great champions.

Matt found true joy and love in his only son and best friend, David. They enjoyed camping trips together. As David married Sonja Mortensen their family expanded. Matt delighted in spoiling his 3 grandchildren Zac (Samantha), Camile (Jason Biggs), and Jake (Andi). Matt was playful with his 11 great-grandchildren and there was always much giggling when he would chase them saying “Get back here you little rascals!” and tease about a “hippo rhino cigator”.

Matt is survived by his sister, Shirlene Brown, and preceded in death by his loving parents, Oscar and Annie, and his siblings Maxine (Ernest Partridge), Gladys (Thomas Beckstrom), Blanche Johnson, Lola (Clyde Ostler), Paul Johnson, and Shirl Johnson.

A graveside service will be held at Spanish Fork Cemetery on Tuesday, June 11 at 10am. Bring your own chair. Following the service, family and friends are invited for a light lunch at Lakeshore Church Pavilion 5916 S 3200 W St, Spanish Fork, UT.

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
10:00 am
Spanish Fork City Cemetery
420 South 400 East
Spanish Fork, UT


  1. REPLY
    Judy Spencer says

    David and family,
    My deepest condolences to y’all.
    Prayers and love.

  2. REPLY
    Ann Clark says

    When I was a kid, Matt was one of my mom’s dearest friends. I loved his visits to our house and have always thought the world of him. My sincerest condolences

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