Johnnie Defa

Born: Thu., Oct. 29, 1931
Died: Mon., Feb. 26, 2018


10:00 AM to 10:30 AM, Thu., Mar. 01, 2018
Location: Crandall Funeral Home

Graveside Service

11:00 AM Thu., Mar. 01, 2018
Location: Evanston City Cemetery

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Johnnie Defa passed away peacefully on February 26, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was born October 29, 1931 in Fort Bridger Wyoming to Rose and Leo Defa. He graduated from Mt View High School in 1950. He married Betty Sheets December 27, 1954 in Evanston Wy and their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake City Temple April 28, 1990.

Johnnie entered the Army in April 1953 and was released from active duty in 1954 and received his honorable discharge in 1961 from the reserves.

He was drafted so he entered the Army. Johnnie started his Army career in Ft. Douglas in Salt Lake City, UT. He received his basic training in California at Camp Roberts and Fort Ord. Both of these places were for Infantry training.

In December 1953 he was sent to Munich Germany and worked as a company clerk. Johnnie was sent where there was no conflict because his brother had been killed in an accident on the ranch and he was the youngest member of his family so the Army would not send him to battle. The rest of his company went to Korea. Johnnie posed for a picture that was used for infantry sportsmanship. Johnnie was a Private 1st Class in rank. When Johnnie went to Germany he flew from California to New Jersey and boarded a ship. The trip took 14 days and while on the ship he had KP duty.

Johnnie received a hardship release because his brother Harry had been hit and killed by lightening, and his dad hurt his shoulders and needed Johnnie to work the ranch.

He met Betty at a restaurant in Bridger Valley when she was visiting her sister and brother-in-law. He was struck instantly.

After the ranch was sold, Johnnie started driving truck. He drove for many companies such as Vic Powers, Milne, Ellingford Brothers and Norris Construction. Johnnie had a nickname of Johnnie Smoke while he drove truck. When he was diagnosed with cancer he was told he could not drive anymore. Not driving broke his heart because it was not a job it was his hobby. He drove truck until he was 83 years old. He taught many people how to drive truck including his grandsons. The only hobby Johnnie had was planting his sweet peas and enjoying the beautiful flowers.

He is preceded in death by his loving wife, parents and siblings: Leo, Harry, Joe, Don, Tony, Junior, Margaret and Mary.

He is survived by his children: Glen (Kathy) Defa, Liz (Rick) Crompton, Johna (Craig) Revelli. Eight Grandchildren, 24 Great Grandchildren and 5 Great Great Grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family ask donations be made to Best Home Heath or to mentor a young person and teach them the value of hard work or service to others.

Services will be Thursday March 1, 2018 with a viewing from 10:00 am to 10:45 and a graveside service at 11:00 at the Evanston City Cemetery.

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Carol Holmes
   Posted Sat March 03, 2018
Such a great man, so sorry for your loss.

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