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Kent A Johnson

Kent A Johnson

Kent A Johnson of Boise, ID, died at home on January 10th, 2022 from a glioblastoma brain tumor. Kent was born in Frazee, MN, August 29th, 1949 to Edwin and Gladys Johnson. He was the oldest of their four children. In 1956 the family moved to Meridian, ID. Kent joined the Meridian High School tennis team and played men’s doubles. As a senior, he played in the state finals. An avid and enthusiastic player throughout his life, Kent always found someone to play with wherever they lived. After moving to Boise, he played weekly with his men’s group and also participated in USTA tennis leagues. With his Boise USTA men’s and mixed teams he won multiple league titles, continued on to sectionals and qualified for nationals. He was a true team player and much preferred doubles to singles. He attended Valparaiso University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1971. While there he acquired the nickname “Spud”, made lifelong friends in Sigma Pi fraternity and was president (Sage) his senior year. He met his wife, Pamela Mattern, at a fraternity/sorority social event. They were married in August 1971. From Valparaiso, Kent began his 22 year career as a commissioned officer in the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. During those years he was stationed in North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico and Minnesota where he worked on water and wastewater systems on Native American Reservations. He was granted a year of continuing education and received a Masters of Engineering from the University of Florida in 1979. In 1994, he returned to Idaho and worked for the City of Boise as Project Manager, Geothermal Coordinator for 19 years. He enjoyed his geothermal projects and more than once gave enthusiastic tours of Boise’s geothermal projects to engineers from other areas in the US and other countries. His last major project, and the one for which he was most proud, is the Boise WaterShed. Every visitor from out of town was given a personal tour. Shortly after arriving in Boise, Kent became an active member of Toastmasters. He learned about geocaching at one of the meetings which became a passion of his. He and Pam set a goal of finding a geocache in all 50 states and had done so in 48 states at the time of his death. Many family members and friends have fond memories and great stories about successful – or not – geocaching adventures with Kent. He and Pam became avid BSU football and basketball fans. As season ticket holders for both sports, many of their trips were centered around who and where BSU was playing during the season. Kent has been an active member of Hope Lutheran Church in Eagle, Idaho since 1994. He was treasurer for many years (too many according to Pam), enjoyed singing on the Worship Team (but would never sing a solo), was involved in small group Bible study, planting bitterbrush shrubs in the Boise foothills, and roadside clean up. His most dedicated and memorable ministry was participating in Hope’s Mission Trips to Mexico through Amor Ministries. He and Pam made the trip 16 times. Kent was the construction manager and spent significant time each day planning the team’s goals and assignments. Mornings always started with a “Kent Talk” before prayers and leaving for the work site. Kent was a quiet guy, and when Vacation Bible
School was held for the local Mexican children he stayed in the background. However, one year
a little girl fell in love with him and his piercing blue eyes. She hung onto him and he tolerated it
very well. In 2007 they built a vacation home in Donnelly, ID on Cascade Lake as co-owners with friends. This became their retreat for rest and rejuvenation. Many family members and friends were
hosted to enjoy this place of beauty with them, play games, hike, soak in the Gold Fork Hot
Springs, help Pam with her current puzzle and sometimes even get put to work.
Always up for an adventure, Kent and Pam loved to travel. Besides spending many weekends
at their vacation home, they took several trips every year. Their preferred method of travel was
driving to enjoy the scenery, see other areas on the way and of course stop for a geocache if
possible. Kent loved to do the planning and Pam loved to take the pictures. They also enjoyed
venturing further afield, vacationing in Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, India, Spain,
Portugal, Germany, Hungary, and Czechia. Even after his diagnosis in April 2021, Kent and
Pam traveled to Seattle, Alaska, New York City, and a week in Maine with Kent’s siblings and
their spouses.
Kent and Pam have two children and five grandchildren, including a set of twins. The last few
years one of Kent’s greatest joys was taking the grandchildren on camping (later, timeshare)
trips, either individually or the twins together. He loved to take the kids on walks, pointing out
and explaining nature whenever the opportunity arose. Family and friend’s knew that taking a
hike with Kent could very well turn into an adventure: 1 hour hikes turning into 2+ hour hikes;
marked trails disappearing; his GPS device not working well; and getting so lost once that Pam
had to call search and rescue. He also challenged the grandchildren’s limits, but was a little
more sympathetic to the grandchildren’s complaints.
When family members and friends describe Kent, some words that are often repeated are:
patient, dedicated, team player, trustworthy, analytical, kind, honest, calm, dependable, a
gentleman, stoic, dignified, and humble. He touched and influenced many people over his life.
Kent is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pam Johnson, son Pip Lafleur (Lisa), daughter
Elizabeth Roberts (Kevin), siblings Dennis Sonifer (Kathryn Lange), Marcia Milleville (Dan),
Kevin Johnson (Karen), and grandchildren Sofia, Ethan, Noah, Moriarty and Lorelei.
A Memorial Service will be held at a future date, probaby summer of 2022. In lieu of flowers,
donations can be sent to Amor Ministries, or Hope Lutheran Church,

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