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On December 7, 2017, Sterling Darwin Johnson peacefully passed away holding the hand of his wife of 57 years, after battling heart disease and cancer. His parents and two sisters, Louene and Linda, precede him in death. He is survived by his wife, Joan and his brother Paul, his five children, fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Darwin was born and raised in Lovell, Wyoming 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.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 11:00 am, with a viewing prior from 9:30 to 10:45 am at the Flood Street Chapel, 85 South 400 East, St. George, UT. Interment in the Tonaquint Cemetery.
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