July 27, 1935 – Dec. 7, 2017
Sterling Darwin Johnson died peacefully on Dec. 7, 2017, holding the hand of his wife of 57 years after battling heart disease and cancer.
His parents and two sisters, Louene and Linda, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and his brother, Paul, his five children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Darwin was born on July 27, 1935, and raised in Lovell, where he developed many lifelong friendships. He was a little mischievous but learned to be hard working at a young age. He delivered newspapers and helped his father with beekeeping and honey extraction.
Through serving a full-time mission in Central America for three years, he became enamored with the Spanish language and Spanish-speaking people and earned a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He soon turned his passion into a career in education. While in Laramie he met the love of his life, Joan Norton, and the two were soon married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. The couple soon had their first child, Kari, and then moved to Magrath, Alberta, Canada, where their second child, Jana was born.
After a few short years in Canada, he and the family moved to California where he taught Spanish at La Habra High School for the next 31 years and where his next three children, Don, John and Nate, were born. Even though he enjoyed teaching and mentoring young people, his true passion was serving and doing missionary work. When he retired, Darwin and Joan served an LDS Church education mission in Panama in 1995-1996, then returned to the mission field in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002-2003.
After 41 years of raising five children and living in California, he and Joan moved to St. George, which has been their home ever since. While there, among other church callings, he served as branch president to the Spanish Branch, where he continued to love and serve the Spanish-speaking people. He spent his last years taking loving care of his wife even when his own health wavered.
His “Graduation Ceremony” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at 11 a.m., with a viewing prior from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at the Flood Street Chapel, 85 South 400 East, St. George, UT. Condolences may be shared at mcmillanmortuary.com
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101