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GUY JOHNSON Obituary pic


Born: May 29, 1950

Date of Passing: Mar 31, 2021

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Peacefully, and surrounded by family, Guy Johnson passed away on March 31, 2021, at 70 years of age.
Guy had a thirst for knowledge and always sought out new experiences and opportunities to learn. He possessed vision - and when combined with his incredible work ethic - this forward focus helped to make many of his dreams become reality. He had an optimistic outlook on life, a playful sense of humour, pride in his Icelandic heritage, and an insatiable sweet tooth.
Born on May 29, 1950, Guy was raised by his parents Leonard and Ethel Johnson on a cattle ranch near Eddystone, Manitoba. He grew up surrounded by family, and liked to proudly declare that he had 72 first cousins whom he adored, many remaining his closest friends throughout his life.
Guy loved sports and was a steadfast Chicago Cubs fan from a young age, and was overjoyed when his beloved Chicago Cubs finally took the World Series in 2016. Growing up he played first base for the Larkspur Baseball Club, football in high school, and was also an avid curler who treated the game like a science. On the ranch, he built a homemade set of uprights on the field opposite his house, quarterbacking plays for his kids on many a summer evening. He coached his son David's baseball teams for a number of years, and was instrumental in organizing many Eddystone Sports days and curling bonspiels.
From a young age Guy planned to follow in his father's footsteps and become a cattle rancher. He completed the Agriculture Diploma program from the University of Manitoba (U of M) in 1972 before returning to the family farm. His curiosity to understand more about the economic side of agriculture motivated him to return to study at U of M, graduating with an Agricultural Economics degree in 1978.
He adored ranching and the satisfaction that accompanies a good day's work. As a rancher, he had a keen interest in genetics, valuing innovation and data-driven improvement, and adopting many unique and progressive farming practices over the years. He even used his world travels as learning opportunities, visiting farms and geneticists around the world, from Jamaica to Iceland.
Guy was most proud of the breeding program he developed to create his own composite cattle breed, mapped out by a graduate student in the U of M's Animal Science department. This brought an overarching mission to the unrelenting day-to-day work of building fences (52 miles built in all), the long days of haying in the summer, machinery repair, sleepless nights during calving season, and the many aspects of physical labour that it takes to run a cattle ranch.
His hard work did not go unnoticed: he was a founding member of Manitoba Cattle Producers Association; was awarded Manitoba Conservation's 1990 Farm Family of the Year, served a five-year term on the Beef Information Ontario Board of Directors; and was the recipient of the 2005 University of Manitoba's Agriculture Diploma Certificate of Merit. The accolade he cherished most, however, was being inducted into the Larkspur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020.
After being set up by a mutual friend and dating for years, Guy married Susan in 1982, and as partners they named their ranch Shoreline Stock Farm. They were a formidable team, complementing each other's strengths and bringing out each other's best qualities. Some of their best moments together were spent at their Ochre Beach cottage.
Guy is mourned by his daughter Meredith Johnson, son David Johnson (Meghan Greenlay), sister Holly Johnson, grandson Nesta Mhina, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, his many cousins, extended family, and friends. He was predeceased by his wife Susan David Johnson, father Leonard, and mother Ethel.
His family will remain ever grateful for his big ideas and forward thinking; his insistence on celebrating the achievements of those around him; his bold and polished sense of style; his sage, practical advice; and his sense of adventure and play. Guy was an independent thinker with a generous heart, a strong sense of integrity, and a deep, enduring love for his wife, Susan. Never one to sit idle, in his last week with us he finished writing a skit about the Icelanders first landing in Canada.
A virtual gathering by Zoom is being planned to celebrate Guy's life. If you would like to participate, please email and further details will be sent out when they are available.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 10, 2021

Condolences & Memories (25 entries)

  • Our condolences to Meredith,David,Holly and families. We will remember Guy as a good person always interested in what was happening in your life and always wishing you well. We would see him often at baseball or curling events. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. - Posted by: Brian and Susanne Hopfner (Friends) on: Apr 17, 2021

  • We were so sorry to here of Guy’s passing. Our condolences to David, Meredith and their families. - Posted by: Jennifer, Dennis, Keith and Tara Battershell (Friend) on: Apr 16, 2021

  • Cousin Guy, so deserving of being called Braveheart. I remember visiting the family at the Lonely Lake farm when we were little. We didn't see each other until we got older, at the family reunions, Ochre Beach cabin and in more recently in Winnipeg. We were always so impressed by Guy's keen interest in everything, sports, art, science and the world around us, a very smart guy, always something fascinating to talk about. And most of all, he loved his Susan with all his heart. With heartfelt sympathy, take care dear family and loved ones. Cousin Chrissie - Posted by: Chrissie (Lundstrom) Beaulieu (First Cousin) on: Apr 15, 2021

  • Guy was a kind and gentle man. So sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Cherie Rebeck and family (Cousin) on: Apr 14, 2021

  • I have fond memories of visiting Guy and Susan at the farm near Eddystone in 2007. Sincere condolences to the whole family. - Posted by: Almar Grímsson (Friend from Iceland) on: Apr 14, 2021

  • Sincere condolences on the loss of Guy. A tremendous loss to the family and the community. - Posted by: John and Ellen Murray (Susan's Cousin (John)) on: Apr 13, 2021

  • What a special tribute to your Dad! Guy was truly a genuine friend and we have so many memories of time spent together with he and Susan. Our thoughts are with you- Meredith and Nesta, David and Meghan, Holly and family - Posted by: Gerri and Craig Parker (Friends ) on: Apr 12, 2021

  • I played bridge with Susan and Guy for several years at the bridge club. They were both humble, fun and easy to spend time with opponents and I always looked forward to seeing them. I was sincerely sad when I saw Guy’s obituary as I was when Susan passed. They will be missed. - Posted by: Marsha Dozar (Bridge partner) on: Apr 11, 2021

  • Our sincerest sympathies goes out to he family. Guy and Susan were very active and well known in the ranching life and 4-H events in all the communities surrounding them and that is where we shared many interest and events. - Posted by: David and Carol Sraybash (Friend ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Dear Meredith and David - I was SO sorry to hear Guy died. Meredith when I visited with you, Guy and Nesta, in the summer he was exactly as I had remembered him - friendly, outgoing, interested and so very likable. I always appreciated how easily Guy laughed. And even though I am sure he has told the story of David and the aluminum baseball bat - which reacted very differently to touching the electric fence than the wooden bat did, he still laughed again at the retelling which made the story even funnier. Guy was one of the best conversationalists I have ever met, because he had a good memory and he really paid attention during a conversation. That is virtually a lost art. He remembered what people shared with him and he was genuinely interested to learn more. I feel very badly that both Susan and Guy are no longer with you. They were both such good people. Please let me know how I can support you. From babysitting to anything else! Take care. Lori - Posted by: Lori Wheeler (Friend) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • What a beautiful timeline of Guy's full and accomplished life! Having moved away from Manitoba right after high school, I regrettably lost track of many good people. The young Icelanders from east of Ste. Rose joined us for Grades 9 - 12 and they brought a whole new sense of joy, fun, sport and culture to our small part of the world. Guy was one of the many new personalities that made high school more memorable than it would have been, I'm sure. I'll be digging out my yearbooks and looking back fondly. Holly and all those close to Guy, I'm very sorry for your loss. 70 years is young, but he certainly filled those years with gusto, being well-loved and respected along the way. - Posted by: Mary V Keitel (high school friend - Mary Hopfner) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • When we moved from Red Lake, Ontario to Winnipeg in 1968, Guy would come and stay at our house on Taylor Avenue. He was as shy as I was, but I remember him talking with my dad Rickard. He was curious about a lot of things and we enjoyed his visits. Many years later, he and Susan visited us in Toronto and that’s when I learned of all his educational, political and agricultural interests. Made me wish I had gotten to know him better back in Winnipeg. He and Susan were such an engaging couple. My condolences to David and Meredith and the rest of the family. - Posted by: Linda Lundstrom (First cousin) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Our deepest condolences goes out to Meredith, David, Holly and families. Guy was such a great friend, we have lots of dinner and vacation memories with Guy and Susan. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Guy and Susan are together again. - Posted by: Fern and Henri Masson (Friends ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • We are so sorry to hear of Guy’s passing, much too soon. What a a wonderful write up in the paper. He and your mom were a truly wonderful couple. Thinking of you at this very sad time. - Posted by: Mark and Linda McMunn (Friend) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • I am saddened to hear of the passing of Guy. I had the privilege of getting to know him while I was looking after his father at the PCH in Ste Rose. Such a nice guy. Love to talk about sports and about the farming business. My Condolences to the Family and Friends during this time of Sorrow. - Posted by: Joe Dillon ( Acquaintance ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Condolences to all of your family. R I P Guy you have earned your forever wings. 💝 - Posted by: Russell and Joan Simmons (Aquantants ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • So very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. We have fond memories of all the times we came to their place and Marcel and him shared a lot of the same music interests. We always looked forward to seeing them. And we fondly remember both of you kids also as you were growing up. Your parents were a wonderful couple. We will miss them. - Posted by: Marcel and Marilyn Tardiff (Friend ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • The obituary for Guy described him to a tee. However, I must add that through his keen sense of caring for others, he always greeted everyone with a smile and a genuine interest in what was happening in your life and your opinion on matters of your community, our country or the world. He was a gentle man with a huge heart! Our condolences to Meredith, Nesta, David, Meghan, Holly, the many cousins , extended family members and friends. - Posted by: Dwight and Cathy Hopfner (Friend ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • My loving , creative, full of life dear cousin I miss so so much. My coach in gardening and together we could make whoopee! My love to Meredith and Nesta, David and Megan and Holly and all your family. Guy you took on life with such gusto and meaning. Love Kissin cousin, Sonja. - Posted by: Sonja Lundstrom (Cousin) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • A wonderful tribute to Guy. Thank you for sharing. A life well lived! Sending love/hugs to Meredith, David and Holly/family. Hope to see you soon. - Posted by: Richard Bredsteen (cousin through marriage) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • A friend for 44 years. We will always remember him for his love of life and his thirst for knowledge. Also his genuine interest in everyone and their lives. May you be comforted by your memories of this great man you call Dad. Our thoughts are with you. Please give Nesta a hug. - Posted by: Murray,Diane and family (Aggie) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Sorry to hear of Guy's passing. He was such a kind man. Never met him but he'd give a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Always happy to see you and would sit down for a visit. He will truly be missed by all who knew him. Rest in Peace with Susan, Guy. - Posted by: Helen and Earl Mailman (Aunt and uncle) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Played baseball against Guy plus attended U of M Agric Econ together graduating in 1978 or so. Deepest condolences to Guy’s family. - Posted by: Dennis Person (Friend- played baseball against plus graduated U of M Agric Econ together ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • I’m so sorry for your loss Meredith and David. Your dad was a wonderful man. I have so many memories of him during our 4-H years in Eddystone. - Posted by: Lynn Flinta (Family friend ) on: Apr 10, 2021

  • Our deepest condolences to Meredith, David and family on the passing of Guy. We were deeply sorry to hear the news. It is nice to think that Guy and Susan will be together again. - Posted by: Nancy Cote (Cousin of Susan) on: Apr 10, 2021

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