Jeffrey Lance Johnson

Jeffrey Lance Johnson, age 45, passed away at his home on Dec. 6 with his wife and mother by his side.  

Jeff is survived by his wife Laura, children Madelyn and Brock, mother Linda of Big Timber, Mont., brother Mike (Kathy, Brett and Julia) Johnson of Boerne, Texas, sister Kay Marie (Kevin, Rylee and Nate) Downs of Soldotna, Ark.,  grandparents Leonard and Bernice Stetzner of Big Timber, Mont., and mother-in-law and father-in-law Gerda Lee and Cliff Cuneo of Big Timber, Mont. He is preceded in death by his brother, Danny, his father, Steve and his grandparents, Arnold and Ruth Johnson, all of Big Timber, Mont.

Jeff was born on August 23, 1972, in Big Timber, Mont., to Steve and Linda Johnson. He graduated from Sweet Grass County High School and studied at Gonzaga University. Among his many talents, Jeff took pride in the family propane business, Oie Motor.  Jeff found true happiness when he married Laura in 2005 and created a family. The joy he felt in spending time with Maddie and Brock and teaching them about life and adventure was obvious, he truly cherished being with them and made the most of their time together. He fostered Maddie’s love for animals and marveled at Brock’s desire to learn, like how Brock mastered cribbage at age five.  On summer days you could find Jeff skateboarding alongside the kids, taking them for a cruise in the golf cart or zip lining at the cabin. Jeff discovered his passion for carpentry and design throughout the years.  His creativity and craftsmanship can be seen in the family home and Yellowstone River cabin, as well as in the business he built for Laura in 2012, The Firehouse gym.  Most recently, Jeff’s passion was focused on creating a full sized basketball court at the city park for the community to enjoy.

Jeff’s life revolved around family and friends, he loved creating fun for all those around him. You could find Jeff rafting, paddle boarding, camping, back country skiing, playing a hand of cribbage, intensely watching a UFC fight, undertaking community projects, traveling or simply enjoying time with friends and family around a monstrous bonfire at his dream cabin on the Yellowstone River, just to name a few.  His nieces and nephews will remember uncle Jeff’s sense of humor, daredevil ideas and how fun things were with him around.

Jeff had a strong will and determination to get healthy, and throughout his experience with cancer, he rarely mentioned the pain and discomfort. He was always more concerned about those around him and living life to the fullest. Jeff touched countless people’s lives and was an inspiration to so many.  And in the end, it’s not about the years in his life, but the life in his years.

A celebration of life was held Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Big Timber Lutheran Church.   A tree planting ceremony honoring Jeff’s life will take place in the summer of 2018.  Memorials in Jeff’s name may be made to Sweet Grass Community Foundation Basketball Court Project at PO Box 517, Big Timber, MT 59011. Condolences for the family may be made at 



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