William Evan Johnson

William Evan Johnson, 67, was a devoted husband, a tireless father and grandfather, and a dedicated veteran, teacher, and community leader who left this world unexpectedly on Friday, January 8, 2021.

Evan was born October 24, 1953 to Arthur Lorenzo Johnson and Evelyn Fae Evans in Ogden, Utah. After graduating from Ben Lomond High School, Evan married his high school sweetheart, Deonna Vause, in the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 15, 1972. Together they plunged forward into life, building an eternal family one custom house and gardening project at a time.

In their 48 years together, Evan and Deonna built six houses known for their gorgeous landscaping and immaculate attention to detail, using the production of their homes as a parable to teach the values of hard work to their family. This enthusiasm and example spilled into numerous home and family projects that Evan led or supported in his children’s homes. Evan and Deonna only paused their persistent construction endeavors to visit grandchildren in Nebraska or Massachusetts or to dash off to their favorite camping spots: Island Park, Idaho, Zion National Park, and the Pine Valley Campground in Southern Utah.

Evan broke ground on his career in the United States Air Force and the Air Force Reserve, serving from 1974 to 1980. Most of the community, however, will remember his enthusiastic dedication as an educator, mentor and leader in Washington County schools. He entered the teaching profession in Weber County in Northern Utah but moved to St. George in 1986, where he taught for many years at Sunset Elementary School. Over his career of 40 years, he instilled a love of learning, especially mathematics, to the 5th and 6th grade students of Southern Utah. He also served as the president of the Washington County Education Association for four years, and he was an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Snow Canyon High School. Eventually, he shifted into administration, serving as the principal of Enterprise Elementary School for 10 years. He firmly believed that every child could achieve success if inspired by a dedicated educator. Several of his children followed in his footsteps to become educators.

Evan was a man of deep faith, with an unshakable foundation and testimony of Jesus Christ, despite the hardships that he experienced throughout his life. His heart and energy belonged squarely to his family and the promise of eternity with them beyond the veil of mortality. He treated others with compassion and humanity, believing every soul he encountered on this Earth was a child of heaven and deserved kindness and charity. He served in church leadership and teaching positions throughout his lifetime, then in his later years was inspired by his wife, Deonna, to regularly engage in temple work, bridging his temporal and eternal families together.

Evan’s greatest joy was in the time he spent with his grandchildren. He had an individual relationship with each of them, leaving each with treasured experiences. Whether on road trips with historical messages, visits to national parks, Friday lunches with Happy Meals, or special ways to hold hands, Evan made sure each of his grandchildren felt his unconditional love as unique individuals. Everyone in Evan’s hometown would recognize his four-wheeler, barrel-train full of grandkids snaking through the town on Halloween, or his driveway full of bikes and scooters. He was also known around Enterprise for his extensive Christmas light displays.

Evan instilled in his children a diverse love of gardening, camping, fishing, Utah Jazz basketball, and science fiction movies. Even though the wake of his passing will leave a hole at every family barbecue, an empty camp chair at the Buffalo Campground, and a silent tile saw in his children’s backyards, he will be there in spirit every time they think of him.

Evan is survived by his wife, Deonna, who currently resides in Enterprise, Utah, and his seven children and their spouses: Christy Leigh Hall (McKay), William Evan Johnson Jr. (Holly), Richard Grant Johnson (Kira), Amanda Jean Gerry (Sean), Spencer Allen Johnson (Amanda), Javier S. Johnson (Aubrey) and Elisabeth Diane Johnson, and 16 beloved grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at the Enterprise Stake Center in Enterprise Utah, from 9:30-10:30 am on Saturday January 16, 2021. Funeral services will be broadcast virtually at 11 a.m. Friends and acquaintances are invited to join at https://youtu.be/mrJMJG9f6TU. Interment for family and close friends will follow the funeral at the Enterprise City Cemetery.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St, St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign his online guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com






9:30 – 10:30 am


11:00 am


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Enterprise 2nd Ward Chapel)
80 S Center Street
Enterprise, Utah 84725


Enterprise City Cemetery
565 East 100 North
Enterprise, UT 84725

Guest Book

16 Responses

  1. We will miss you Evan! Love from your cousin Kyle Johnson and our family. Condolences to Deonna and all of the family.

  2. Uncle Evan, you will be missed. You were a true inspiration and great leader to all of us. We love you. It was always a good time being around you with you showing us all love and that you cared and of course can’t forget the jokes at the family reunions. You will always be in thoughts. We love you and miss you
    Nichole Chadwick and kids

  3. Several of my children had Mr. Johnson at Sunset Elementary. He had an amazing influence on their lives. Not only during their school years but throughout their lives. They have always spoken highly of him and enjoyed visiting with him whenever they met around town. I’m so thankful, as a parent, for his amazing life. Thank you, Mr. Johnson

  4. Dear Donna, my hearts is heavy to hear of the loss of Evan. He and I came to Sunset the same year, I taught across the hall from him for years, and served on the WCEA board with him. We became good friends and colleagues. I taught two of your kids–I have history with the Johnson family. I’m go grateful to have known Evan. He truly loved the education world, he was a great teacher, leader , and friend.

    Please give your family my love. My prayers are with all of you.
    My love, Louise Cowley

    1. Thank you, Louise. You were so good to my kids. We all love you so much. This was a surprise to all of us, we were not expecting to lose him so soon.

  5. Dear Donna and family,
    I know that there is a big void in all of your hearts with the passing of such a great father and husband. I’ve enjoyed Evan’s friendship for many years. We had a lot of stories to share with each other while working at Sunset Elementary School, and we also had a lot of fun. I’ve so enjoyed cutting his hair as well as your boys hair for many years. I always looked forward to seeing Evan and visiting with him every time he came to the shop. I will miss him and I have always regarded him as a true friend. Evan loved his family so much and was alway so proud of each of you and your accomplishments. May the Lord bless each of you.
    Love, Bill and Maxiene Vandenberghe

  6. Deanna and family, I was so sorry to see of Evans passing when I pulled the newspaper up on my computer, I am out of the state visiting my daughter and will not return in time for the funeral. My prayers are with you and your family, so greatful for the gospel and knowing we will see our family members again. I have enjoyed working with Evan over the years and love the beautiful addition your homes have made to our community. Please call me if there is anything I can do for you when I return.
    Gayle Rohde

  7. When you kids were at SUU, you all talked so highly of your father. I could tell he was a great man. I appreciated that he taught you to enjoy mathematics since I got to know you in those classes. Through your own teaching careers, each of you is continuing his legacy of serving others and I am honored to have been a part of that. Thank you for being such a wonderful family. My thoughts are with you at this time.

  8. I didn’t know you well uncle Evan, but I have many memories of being younger at Christmas parties and bingo with all our families, I always loved you from afar and I am so honored to have had you as my uncle! I love you very much! Prayers and condolences to aunt deonna and family!

  9. Deonna ànd Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know Evan will be waiting and preparing for you to join him. He was a favorite friend of mine. I, like Louise taught across the hall from him for many years. Then the two of us moved into the portable the week before school started. We repainted the interior and made our own white boards. We always had each other’s backs in that portable. I loved Evan’s sense of humor. I know you will miss him as I do. I also know we will see him again. I send much love and prayers and sympathy.
    Jerry J Griffiths

  10. Deonna and family, Evan was a household name in our family for many years. He was a great friend and mentor to Max. They had alot of fun and Max learned alot from Evan. I was thinking about our trip to San Antonio. Good memories. My prayers are for peace and comfort for you and your family.

  11. I was hired to be Evan’s aid at Vista School several years ago. One of my first memories of him was on Valentines Day. The student council was doing a fundraiser of delivering valentines to students in their classrooms. He noticed that there were some girls that hadn’t received any and so he spent his lunch break cutting out colored paper into hearts and hand making Valentines so he could make sure that every single girl in his classes got delivered at least one anonymous Valentine that day.
    I found while working with him that this was typical. He really cared for his students. I learned a lot from Mr Johnson. He will be missed.

  12. Our love and prayers are being sent to Evan and Deonna and their family during these tender times. We feel honored to have known Evan as a neighbor and friend and also to have worked for several years with his daughter Christy at Tuacahn High School. Evan was an extremely dedicated educator and a great man. We know he will be missed by his family, as well as many other community members, whom he taught and mentored. – Gayle and John Broberg

  13. Uncle Evan, You were an inspiration as a parent.. I loved seeing you and Deonna and kids growing up, especially for the Christmas bingo that Grandma started and loved… Also the family reunions! Your going to be missed. I love you!! To Deonna, I love you so much, and I’m sorry for the loss of your sweetheart… To my cousins, Christy , Little Evan, Richard, Amanda, Spencer,Javier, and Elizabeth, love to you and your kiddos, we all don’t really see each other however I love you and am sorry for your loss, you definitely had a wonderful and loving daddy!! Your Cousin Billie😥😢😪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.