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Afton Tilley Johnson, 97, formerly of Gooding, passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at the Rexburg Care and Rehabilitation Center in Rexburg.
Afton Tilley was born March 1, 1921 to Alma Charles and Ethel Robertson Tilley in Burley, Idaho the youngest of 12 children.
Afton grew up on a small family farm in Stars Ferry, Idaho. She grew up helping her brothers and sisters, work the fields and harvest the hay, sugar beets and wheat. She learned the fine art of canning and preserving the produce from the family garden and making many loaves of bread for the family. These skills she passed on to her children, many fall days were spent canning fruit and vegetables for the winter. The smell of baking bread reminds us of mom, warm bread with a slab of butter was one of the best treats.
Afton married J. Nephi Johnson on June 5, 1938 and they lived in a very small house next to the Amalgamated Sugar Factory in Twin Falls where dad worked. Dad entered the Army during World War II and was sent to Fort Lewis in Washington State. At that time mother and dad had three children, she moved for a very short time up to Olympia, Washington and rode the train our to the base to visit dad. When dad was deployed, she moved back to Stars Ferry and lived with her sister, Lucy. After the war ended dad once again was employed by the sugar factory and in 1951 was promoted to fieldman for the Gooding area. Mom and Dad moved to Gooding in 1951, where they resided for many years.
Mom and dad had six children - Carolyn Afton, Frank Nephi, Bruce T, Kathie, Ethel Marie and Julia Lynn.
Mom’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving, she would cook the entire meal sometimes serving up to 20 or more family members. Mother had a deep dedication to her family and enjoyed being around her children and grandchildren, Thanksgiving was the one holiday where we all got together.
Mother was an accomplished seamstress, she made all our prom dresses, and many of our everyday clothes, shirts for the boys and dresses for the girls. She enjoyed crocheting making many dollies and a bedspread for one of the girls. As she would say, this kept her hands busy.
In July of 1992 her husband of 54 years passed away, as she worked through her grief, she came to realize that she needed something to do. So, she began volunteering in the community, she volunteered at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store, setup tables at the Senior Center, and worked at the Deseret donation center in Twin Falls sorting clothes. She put her sewing skills to use making gowns and receiving blankets for new born children.
Mother was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served in many capacities over the years, she was Relief Society President, she worked in the Mutual Program, Ward Library and did genealogy work.
Mom will be remembered for her dedication and devotion to her faith and her children.
She was preceded in death by: her parents, brothers and sisters, her husband and daughter - Carolyn.
She is survived by: Frank (Debbie) Johnson of Hagerman, Bruce (Wendy) of Rigby, Kathie Scott of Twin Falls, Ethel Marie (Paul) Klingler of Gooding and Julia Fife of Parma; eighteen grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm at Demaray Funeral Service – Gooding Chapel. A private family internment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.