MARVIN J JOHNSON
12-5-1931 10-1 -2021
Marvin Johnson was FUN. He loved life. He once said “heck, I never had to work hard at life. It was FUN, it was all fun.” Whether he was a student at school, playing sports, parenting, selling TVs, or traveling he had a good time.
He was a tease and a storyteller. It was difficult to get a straight answer out of him whether it was regarding his complicated medical history, how he lost his middle finger or how he met and married his wife. He liked to BS.
He was born in Springville Utah to Joseph Frank and Juanita Pearl Johnson with his twin brother Melvin, numbers 5 and 6 of 8 children. The family was raised in a home in Spanish Fork that Frank’s father built. When he was 7 years old his father died after being infected with tetanus from jumping onto a nail. He and his brothers and sisters were raised by his mom, many aunts, uncles, and a large extension of the community. At Spanish Fork High School, he was popular, well liked and known as a tease! He was captain of the basketball and football team. He played baseball and ran track making him a 4-time Letterman. He was proud to serve as Student Body President.
He attended BYU after high school playing a season of football with them. He joined the Air Force Reserve and served at Clovis Air Force Base near Clovis New Mexico during the Korean War as an airplane mechanic. During a leave from the air force base, he decided he wanted to buy a car but, because he was in the Air Force, the bank wouldn’t give him a loan. So, he married his sweetheart, Carma Cole, now his wife of 70 years, “so she could co-sign a loan for a car”. He was such a romantic….
After the service he attended Central Utah Vocational School, then completed a Journeyman Television Technician Apprenticeship with RCA in June 1959. Marv tried management at RCA but found sales to be his sweet spot, where he honed his natural charm. Marv was the number one salesperson for RCA for 22 consecutive years, winning company sponsored trips all over the world. He and Carma made lifetime friends as they traveled the world with fellow RCA salesmen and their wives. He water-skied on the Sea of Galilee, parasailed on the French Riviera, scuba dived in St Thomas, Virgin Islands and much much more. When he left RCA he developed and marketed sporting goods equipment including carbon fiber tennis rackets and golf clubs. Later he and associates developed and sold solid state speakers.
Marvin raised his daughters on the adventures that Utah has to offer. The family spent weeks boating, waterskiing, and camping in
Heck, I never had to work hard at life, it was fun, it was all fun. Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge and Pineview Reservoir. On camping trips, he loved flipping beer pancakes for breakfast with bacon or fresh trout as he sang Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skis”. Trips to the National and State Parks, Carlsbad Cavern, California Beaches, Hawaii, and the Florida Everglades kept his family entertained and engaged in adventure. He made sure his daughters learned to snow ski and bought the family annual season ski passes so they could enjoy the fun of winter.
For his mid-life crisis he sold the family boat and camper van and built a comfortable cabin in the beautiful Midway mountains. He and Carma entertained their family with a dune buggy, sailboats, sailboards, horseshoes, and back yard baseball games! They hosted many family sleepovers, barbecues, sleigh rides and snowmobile adventures. Marv shared his love of life and adventure with many longtime friends, his daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. His grandchildren and great grandchildren brought him great joy and were his favorite thing to brag about!
Marv is survived by his wife Carma Cole Johnson; four daughters, Kathy Buhler (Don), Karie Bird (David), Carla Darveau, Cally Flox (Scott), 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, siblings Janet Reese (Spanish Fork, UT), and David Johnson (Mariana, FL).
There will be a celebration of life for Marv on Thursday October 7 at 2:00 pm outdoors at the Mountain View cemetery, 3115 East 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights. Visitation with the family from 1:00 to 1:45 or after the celebration when refreshments will be served. The celebration will also be available via zoom link which will be posted at www.memorialutah.com.
Special thanks to the Veterans’ Administration for support and care of today's veterans.
Celebration of Life
Life Story Info
I have great memories of Marv going back to 1970. I always could depend on him for a fishing trip in the morning at Flaming Gorge. Also, there was no problem on mentioning let's go water skiing, he was right on it taking turns with Karie and Carla.
Marv was always happy and willing to help out. I am thankful for the memories I have with Marv and his family.
Oct 7, 2021
I have many fond memories of Marv, Carma, and the girls joining our family at Flaming Gorge. I always delighted in being around Marv and enjoying his good nature.