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Larkin Mortuary

Arvie James Johnstun

12/22/1934 - 06/07/2019

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Our loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather Jim Johnstun passed away June 7th at his home. He was born December 22, 1934 to LaVell and Laura Johnstun in California.  He was raised in Winnemucca, Nevada, then moved to Midvale, Utah. He served in the Navy at age 17 and was a Korean War Veteran. He married Alice Wald on December 29, 1956 and raised his family in Midvale.

He was a machinist and worked for Eimco, Hercules, and Kennecott.

He is survived by wife, Alice; sister, Ruth Saunders Ballard; sister-in-laws, Shirleen Johnstun, Marie (Pat Kaikini); brother-in-law Tony Wald (Elaine); daughters, Kelly (Jay Butterfield), Kristy (Phil Holmes); sons, Tony, Bob (Ken); nine grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceded in death by parents; brothers, Robert, Dick, Owen; sisters, Betty Louise, Betty Aloha; daughter, Kim; grandson, Ben and great grandson, Branson.

As stated above, Jim was a machinist. A machinist is described as a problem solver, someone with knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, material properties, layout and procedures. Jim embodied these qualities in life, not just in the shop. Jim could build anything, including the tools he used to build it, a quality we have loved, relied on and have been so honored to look up to. He may have left this world, but he has blessed us all with his passion.

He was a man who was able to be fully in the present moment, with the kind of mind that could see the whole process from start to finish. He had the solution before you finished explaining the problem. If you brought Jim a puzzle, he would study it, solve it, learn how it was built and you could expect to see several puzzles come from his shop. Accompanied by his silent and encouraging smile, he sat numerous puzzles in front of his family, potential future in laws and friends or passing guests throughout the years.

Jim met his wife Alice at a dance hall in Milwaukee; they exchanged letters as he served in the Navy aboard the USS Sperry, before eventually marrying, beginning their long life together and growing their family in Utah. Jim enjoyed his family. He enjoyed learning about and sharing the stories of how things had built to the present. It wasn’t rare for Jim to share tales of his history, proudly and with respect.

His consistency was a source of comfort through any day, whether your circumstances were great, or they were hard, you could depend on his “…y-yellow” on the other end of the phone if you called. You could depend on watching him twiddle his thumbs, a gold ring on his pinky, while sitting in the kitchen, a watchful smile on his face.

He would take in the sights and sounds of family at his house for Christmas or on Easter, watching us enjoy chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows, a favorite treat, helping us put together a Christmas present, listening to us and usually laughing at our jokes, or more likely, at us.

He wasn’t short on so many things; time, love, thoughtfulness, and that makes all who he loved very lucky. To have a giant of a man, a rock, a provider and a teacher; a well of knowledge who gave so freely and passionately; a father who piled his family into the station wagon for road trips; a man who remained by his wife’s side for more than sixty years and a countless amount of Bingo cards; a loving grandfather; a friend to many; the maker of those chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows; always with his kind laugh and smiling eyes, always knowing the answer, even if we thought we knew better, we had a guide in Jim.

He continues to show us all the way and because of Jim we know “it’s not the miles, it’s the road conditions.”

Viewing will be June 11th from 5 to 7 PM at Larkin Mortuary Riverton, 3688 West 12600 South.

Funeral Mass on June 12th at 10 AM at Larkin Mortuary Riverton with a viewing one hour before the mass.

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist.” Louis Nizer


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