Lester Arden Johnson, 97, farmer, rancher and building contractor and resident of Moab until 1971, died Sept. 13, 2010, in Orem, Utah of causes incident to age. He was born Jan. 31, 1913 in Moab, the first son of George Washington and Mabel Wilcox Johnson’s nine children. He was reared in La Sal, ranching, farming and graduating from Grand County High School.
Arden married Clara Barton of Monticello on Aug. 21, 1941, in the Salt Lake Temple. They recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary with family and friends.
They spent the war years in California, where Arden worked for Douglas Aircraft, building planes for the American and British Air Forces.
After the war, Arden and Clara returned to the family ranch in La Sal. Arden also worked for the Charlie Redd ranches and as a building contractor. They reared a family of six children in Moab. In 1971, the family moved to Orem, where Arden continued as a builder with his son, Jay.
Arden appreciated his many friends and relatives in Moab, including the Loren Johnson and Burdene Gramlich families. Arden and Clara have subscribed to the Moab Times-Independent for over six decades.
Arden was active in the LDS church, serving for years in Moab as a ward clerk and in missionary work as a seventy. In 1975, the Johnsons moved to Nauvoo for a year while Arden worked as a builder in the restoration projects of the old pioneer city. He was instrumental in the reconstruction of the print shop and bakery in Nauvoo.
He is survived by his wife, Clara; children, daughter-in-law Trudy Johnson of Villa Park, Calif., Klyda (Jon) Anderson of Orem, Jay (Brenda) of Ammon, Idaho, Colleen (Ron) Smith of Orem, Carolyn (Jack) Lund of Richfield, and Janice (David) Turner of Orem, 41 grandchildren and 100 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Floyd Johnson, of Orem.
He was preceded in death by a son, Larry, and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 17 at noon in the Sharon Park 2nd Ward chapel, 225 East 200 North, in Orem. Friends and family may call from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in Moab’s Old Grand Valley cemetery on Sand Flats Road, Saturday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m.