Gerald W. Johansen

June 26, 1935 - December 14, 2021

Gerald “Jerry” William Johansen was born June 26, 1935, to William and Helen Johansen in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from South High School in 1953, and later graduated from, as he would say, “the best school around,” Westminster College. In his time at Westminster, Jerry played baseball, made many life-long friends, and created his fondest memories, which he often reminisced on until the day he passed. Upon graduating from Westminster, Jerry became a teacher and coach at several schools, including East High and Clayton Junior. After his years in education, Jerry sold sporting goods to many schools around the state for Universal Athletics. He loved the customers and coaches he worked with, and they loved him. There wasn’t a person he called on that didn’t become a friend. Jerry had that way about him; a story, a joke, a way that he connected with you and made you laugh. He retired in 2000 to live out his proudest career, becoming a full-time grandpa.

After being blessed with four children, Jerry fell in love with Gayle Wherry Johansen and asked her hand in marriage. They were married February 9, 1979, and with her, they blended their two families into one, big, loving family. In his free time, Jerry enjoyed golfing, bowling, watching the Jazz and Utes, and his favorite of all activities, attending all his Grandchildren’s and Great-Grandchildren’s events. If there was an event, “Grampa Jerry” could always be found; he was the proudest Grandpa around. Whether he was getting coffee with his friends, or at a family dinner, he was the life of the party, and always had a joke to tell. He had a smile that could light up a room, a laugh that was contagious, and a heart of gold. For those of you who were lucky enough to know Jerry, you know what an amazing, loving, and unapologetically honest person he was. The only things bigger than his laugh, was his larger-than-life personality. Jerry was known for his wisecracking sense of humor, which will be tremendously missed by all.

On December 14, 2021, Jerry passed away peacefully in the comfort of his own home. He was surrounded by his entire family as they said their goodbyes; he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. On Jerry’s behalf, a big thank you to his seven loving children that took care of him in the years leading to his death; you all were his greatest blessing. He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Helen, Wife Gayle, and Sister Marilyn Brown. He is survived by his brother, Paul (Margaret) Johansen, his seven children, Shauna (Jim) Fuoco, Jeffery Johansen, Loni (Ted) Valerio, Rick (Stacy) Johansen, Jeff (Shellie) Jensen, Sean (Brenda) Jensen, Jessica (Charlie) Van Wagoner, and his pride and joy, his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held Tuesday, December 21st from 10:00am - 11:30am at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East. Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1342 E. 500 S. Salt Lake City, UT. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you regularly call your elderly family and friends just to “check in,” as all of us did with Jerry. 

Because of Jerry, everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path has been profoundly changed for the better.