BARNARD — A visitation will be held on Friday, March 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock for Moroni Salice Johnson Sr., who passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center on Feb. 24, 2018 of Acute on Chronic Systolic Heart Failure. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 3 at 2 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel on Dairy Hill Road, South Royalton. Burial will be held at a later date.
He was born Nov. 8, 1944 in Montpelier, son of Moroni Edison Johnson and Gertrude Lucy (Pratt) Johnson. At the age of three, his family settled from the town of Washington, to Barnard. He completed grades 1-8 in the one room schoolhouse on Lakota Road just below where he lived. He graduated from Woodstock Union High School, Class of 1962. In 2012, he and his classmates returned for a 50th reunion and received an Honorary Diploma.
Starting at an early age he acquired the entrepreneurial spirit by mowing lawns for locals, then on to his own peat moss business for George Buchtenkirk. Later, he worked for Bartlett Tree Co., John Doten and Murphy Equipment before forming a partnership with his brother, Paul. In 1982, he started his own logging and excavation business that he ran for 39 years with his wife’s help doing the accounting. Some of his sons have worked with him. After his “retirement” in 2008, he in turn, worked for some of them (Mark, Mike, Tim, and most recently Steve).
He was a gifted heavy equipment operator and a very skilled logger. He also maintained a natural ability to dowse for water and did so for many in the area.
In 1967, he married his sweetheart, Jean Emily Baker. They built their home in Barnard, where they “rocked” babies for many years…
He was an active and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many capacities.
He always felt fortunate to have the opportunity to travel often. He felt life had been good to him living “The American Dream.” He would say “what more could one ask for.” He battled many serious health issues and was grateful for the benefits of modern medicine.
He is survived by Jean, his loving wife and best friend of 50+ years; 10 sons and three daughters: Moroni S. Jr. (Deborah), Mark C., David N. (Lori), Brian L. (Laurie), Michael E. (Jennifer), Timothy A. (Michele), Stephen G. (Megan), Thomas E. (Carol), Daniel P., Emily E. Burkholder (Brian), Sarah J. (boyfriend Travis Dyer), Rachel L. (boyfriend Jacob Webb) and James W. (girlfriend Grace Frazier); 27 grandchildren; one sister Sharon E. Rice (Albert); one sister-in-law Mercedes Johnson; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by twin infant sons Jason A. and Jared A.; his parents; and one brother Paul L. Johnson, Sr.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home. An online guest book can be found at cabotfh.com.
This obituary will also appear in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Vermont Standard.
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