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Rich memories fill 100 years of life
Jan 12, 2014 | 2331 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EUDORA JOHNSON (left) shares a smile with Jeanette Herbert, Utah’s first lady, at the Centenarian Luncheon last fall.  
Courtesy photo
EUDORA JOHNSON (left) shares a smile with Jeanette Herbert, Utah’s first lady, at the Centenarian Luncheon last fall. Courtesy photo


Clipper Staff Writer

KAYSVILLE – She raised sheep, she helped run an ice cream store. She lived in San Diego, and in Saudi Arabia. She played the piano, she adopted a child.

Eudora Johnson has a lot to show for her 100 years of living.

For 78 of those years, she was married to the love of her life, Russel Johnson, who passed away two years ago at 104.

“She said that was too quick,” said her granddaughter, Virginia Allred. “I tell her, ‘You had longer than anybody,’ but she misses him terribly.”

Allred loves to hear the stories her grandmother tells, and speaks fondly of her kindness and generosity.

“She’s the most loving and accepting, the most understanding,” said Allred. “She absolutely loves kids and she’s so kind.”

And you could do a white-glove test on her house any day of the week, said Allred.

Johnson is quick to say she’s not an important person.

“I guess I got to travel quite a bit with my husband,” she adds.

It was the 10 years they spent in Saudi Arabia that she often returns to in conversation.

“You don’t see much of the women,” she said of Saudi Arabia. “They’re in the background and that’s it. In some ways (men) are raised to not respect a woman and that always bothered my husband.

“The wives suffered more than the men. They abused their women really,” she said. “Their ideas were entirely different than the American male. It was a shame.”

Allred shared other events from her grandmother’s life.

Johnson grew up in Salt Lake City and was the fifth of nine children. She learned to read and write from her older brothers, and when she was four, pestered her mother to let her go to school.

Her mother let her go, assuming she would be sent home, but not only was she allowed to stay, but in a few days, she was advanced to first grade.

She later was advanced yet another grade, and graduated high school at 16.

Her oldest brother was out delivering newspapers and killed by lightning when he was 14 and she was seven. 

When she was 15, her mother passed away from appendicitis. Another brother died in a plane crash in Nevada.

Johnson and her husband ran a sheep ranch and apple orchard in Oregon, later an ice cream store in Arizona, and then went to San Diego, where her husband worked in the shipyards during World War II.

They later adopted a child from Germany and shared their love and kindness with him and later, with his children and grandchildren, as well as the children of cousins and other family members and friends.

For 40 years, she was a Bountiful resident, but more recently she has lived with Allred in Kaysville.

A celebration of her birthday was held last month in Kaysville.

“She was in seventh heaven,” said Allred. “She was really touched so many people came.”

Former neighbors, relatives of all ages, even her physical therapist and doctor came to offer their congratulations.

“She touches everyone she meets,” said Allred. “She is inspiring. A good example of a good person.”

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