Kevin Wendell Johnson
October 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
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Kevin Wendell Johnson
May 22, 1956—August 6, 2023
Kevin Wendell Johnson, loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, and friend, died on Sunday, August 6, 2023, just outside Last Chance, Colorado, as the result of a motorcycle accident. He was 67 years old.
Kevin was born May 22, 1956, in Jerome, Idaho, the third child of Mayben and Merna (Deuel) Johnson. He loved Idaho and maintained a pride and passion for his home state his whole life. He graduated from Jerome High School, where he excelled at both academics and athletics, his state track records standing for many years. When he left for college at Harvard University, it was the first time he had ever been east of Vernal, Utah. After serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas and New Mexico, Kevin earned a BA in history and government from Harvard, a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics, and a JD from the J. Rueben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.
While still a student, Kevin married Amy Bennett in the Salt Lake Temple on August 23, 1979. They had two children, Frances Elizabeth Johnson and Wendell Bennett Johnson, and traveled with their family all over the world, living in Utah, Washington, D.C., London, Boston, and Michigan before settling in Littleton, Colorado. Kevin especially loved the five years he and his family spent living in Madrid, Spain, working for the Dow Chemical Company. He was a proud speaker of Castilian Spanish and spoke and practiced as often as he could.
Kevin built a successful law practice with Holland & Hart in Denver and most recently Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City, becoming one of the leading mining attorneys in the country. He maintained a strong commitment to excellence for his clients and his industry. Colleagues described him as irreplaceable. He showed the same commitment and loyalty in his relationships with his friends and family—Kevin cared about people, their motivations, and their passions, and he served selflessly. He also loved food—both eating dishes from cultures around the world and experimenting with making it—from his famous sourdough pancakes to more exotic efforts like seafood pizza.
His greatest pride was his family. Kevin was a devoted husband, a kind, generous, and involved father, and an especially adoring grandfather (though he preferred being called KJ instead of grandpa). He worked hard to build a happy family and also found many chosen families along the way—at Harvard, at church, and in his community. Just as he dreamed big for himself and stepped forward bravely on new and uncharted paths, he dreamed big for other people and helped them believe they could achieve great things.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Amy; his daughter, Frances, her husband, Andrew Dale, and their children, Beatrice, Alistair, and Tabitha; his son, Ben, his wife, Jenna Antonucci Johnson, and their daughter, Olive; his mother, Merna; his siblings, Cole Johnson and April Johnson; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Mayben Alton Johnson; his mother-in-law, Bonnie Ellen Stone Bennett; his father-in-law, David Wells Bennett; and his brother-in-law, John Wells Bennett.
Friends are invited to donate in his honor to the David Wells Bennett Memorial Scholarship at the University of Utah, which Kevin proudly established in honor of his father-in-law.
—Submitted by Jenna Antonucci Johnson