Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

F. Ferne Johnson


F. Ferne Johnson

F. Ferne Johnson, of Scottsbluff, died on Aug. 29, 2015, at Western Nebraska Veterans Home. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m. at the West Nebraska Veterans Chapel in Scottsbluff with Pastor Richard Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at West Lawn Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the donor's choice or to Western Nebraska Veterans Home. Tributes of sympathy may be left at http://www.geringchapel.com. Gering Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Ferne was born Nov. 20, 1925, in Kimball, where her parents, Ethyl S. (Singleton) and Frank O. Evertson, had a wheat farm north of Kimball. She attended Kimball schools. Ferne had a beautiful soprano voice and often sang at weddings in the Kimball area while in high school. After graduation, Ferne attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. She was married to Byron M. Johnson in Kimball on Nov. 26, 1944 while Byron was on a 30-day furlough from the United States Navy.

Ferne and Byron traveled to Atlantic City, N.J., for their honeymoon. Byron's squadron was then deployed to the Pacific Theater. After the war was over, Ferne and Byron returned to western Nebraska and lived in Sidney, where Byron and his friend, former Army Pilot Keith Swartz, started a local flying service in Sidney.

Ferne and Byron moved to Lincoln in 1949 for Byron to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and attend the College of Law in Lincoln. While Byron attended law school, Ferne cared for the home and their three young children. After graduating from law school in 1952, the family moved to Gering. Ferne worked 35 years with Byron as his legal secretary in his private law practice. Byron retired as the Scotts Bluff County Public Defender in 2000, at which time Ferne and Byron moved to Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff.

Ferne and Byron celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in November 2004. Byron passed away in February 2005.

Ferne is survived by their three children, Bryce M. Johnson of Gering, Kim J. (Bill) Lawler of Spring Valley, Wis., and Karen L. (Gary) Withrow of Thornton, Colo .; 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law Marjorie Hopkins of Southern Pines, N.C.

Ferne was proceeded in death by her parents; brothers, Col. (Ret) Bryce Singleton Evertson who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery; Lyle Evertson of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., sister and brother-in law Helyn (Ervin) Wheeler of Potter, and brother-in-law, Don Hopkins of Southern Pines, N.C..

Ferne was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed crossword puzzles and was an avid book reader. She loved the beauty of flowers and the splendor of nature. Ferne and Byron always gave their best in whatever they did. The family wants to express a sincere thank you to the staff at Western Nebraska Veterans Home for the wonderful, loving care they provided to Ferne. She always referred to them as being part of her family. Ferne was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Gering and past president of the North Platte Valley Historical Society.


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