Genevieve Whetten Johnson, age 101, passed away at her home in Lindon, Utah Thursday, February 13, 2020. She was born September 17, 1918 in the Mormon Mexican Colony of Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico to James Elbert and Lillie O’Donnal Whetten.
Gennie’s legacy is that of a true pioneer of the 1800’s. She grew up in the mountains of Mexico without indoor plumbing, running water or electricity. Transportation was by horseback or wagon. Laundry was done by a creek with a bonfire, a tub and washboard, and homemade lye soap. After graduating from Juarez Stake Academy in Colonia Juarez, she became a schoolteacher in a one-room schoolhouse teaching grades 1-4; half of the students spoke only English and the other half only Spanish. On a teacher’s salary of $22 a month, she and a cousin saved enough money to travel to the World’s Fair in San Francisco in 1939. It was a highlight of her life, never having ridden on a plane or a boat or being in a big city. At age 21, she served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in the Mexico Mission when there were less than 40 missionaries in all of Mexico.
After her mission, she married Floyd Johnson in 1942. Floyd was also from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico and had served in the same mission, concurrently. Ten years later, Floyd and Gennie, with their four children, left Mexico and moved to Farmington, New Mexico, where they lived for 36 years. They eventually had seven children. Upon retiring, Floyd and Gennie served another mission to Mexico in Torreon. In 1987, they moved to Lindon, Utah, where they lived out their lives. The joy of Gennie’s life came from love of God, family, service to others, and beautiful handiwork, including quilting and tatting. She also found immense joy in studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serving as an ordinance worker in three temples: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Provo, Utah; and Mt. Timpanogos, Utah.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Floyd, in 2002; her son, Laray, in 2014; and her son-in-law, David Allred, in 2002. She is survived by her sister, Vera Whetten Pratt, of El Paso, TX; and remaining six children, Ivy Allred of Genola, UT; Percy (Clara) Johnson of Lindon, UT; Burton (Evonne) of Clinton, UT; Jennie Wells of Green Valley, AZ; James (Jennifer) of Lubbock, TX; and Wayne (Colleen) of Vernal, UT. Her posterity includes 38 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11:00 am with a viewing from 9:00 to 10:30 am. There will also be a viewing on Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Viewing and services will be at the Lindon 2nd Ward church located at 610 West 100 South, Lindon, Utah. Interment will be in the Lindon Cemetery.
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