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Frank Jamison Johnson

June 23, 1930 ~ January 24, 2021 (age 90)


It is with great sadness that the Johnson family announces the passing of Frank Jamison Johnson on January 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  At age 90, Frank passed away peacefully while preparing for church.  He was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and sincere friend to many. 

Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Sarah Gardner Johnson (Sally); his daughter Kimberly Thomas; his sons William and Scott Johnson; his daughters-in-law, Kelly and Sarah Johnson, grandchildren Ellison, William, Lauren, Bryan, Peter, Chloe, Courtney, Whitney, Emily, Chris, Kallee, Rylee, Baylee and Laynee; sister Jacqueline Kehle and many great grandchildren as well.

Frank grew up in San Pedro, California as the son of Frank L Johnson and Frances Jamison Johnson.  He attended Chadwick School, graduating in 1947.  In 1951 he graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, with a major in International Relations.  Frank then received a Masters degree, with distinction from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC.  Frank’s specialty was the Soviet Union as he was fluent in the Russian language.  He then entered the Naval Reserve Officer Candidate School, in Newport Rhode Island graduating with the rank of Ensign in April of 1954.  Frank was assigned to the Soviet Navy desk of the office of Naval Intelligence in the Pentagon serving as both an officer and a civilian until 1961.  In 1955, Frank married Sarah (Sally) Gardner, daughter of Joseph and Jeannette Gardner in Bethesda Maryland. He retired from the Naval Reserve in 1964 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  

Frank then went on to pursue his love of writing.  His first book “No Substitute For Victory” advocated a vigorous U.S. anti-communist policy.  In 1962 he became the Washington Editor for the American Security Council serving until 1975.  During this time he wrote newsletters, radio scripts, national strategy studies and lectured extensively to the Foreign Service Institute and throughout the country.  In 1964 Frank also served as a speech writer for the Goldwater Presidential campaign.

Putting aside his interest in world affairs for his other interest, the stock market, Frank joined the firm of Johnston, Lemon Incorporated in 1975 as a senior investment advisor and continued until retirement in 1986. 

Returning to his love of writing, Frank wrote four additional books: his autobiography “It’s Friday but Sunday is Coming,” “Jews and Mormons: Two Houses of Israel” (Co-authored with his Dartmouth roommate, Rabbi Bill Leffler), “A full Life” which contains his letters of correspondence over the years, “Ancestral Tales of Charles L and Ruth Harris Johnson”, a book containing the genealogy and lives of his Johnson and Harris ancestors.   

Frank and Sally joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1970.  He served in the LDS Church in various capacities, including many years as a sealer in the Washington DC temple.  During 1994 and 1995, Frank and Sally served a senior couple’s mission in Toronto, Canada.  In the year 2000 they moved from Potomac Maryland, to Mesa, Arizona to be closer to family.  

Throughout his life, Frank had a passion for intellectual, social, spiritual and physical pursuits.  He loved to go to the gym, swim in the ocean, fish, read and discuss politics or religion for hours with friends and family.  He was generous and loved to help others. He will be missed by family and friends whose lives he enriched and dearly touched. 

A private family funeral service will be held Saturday, Feb 27, 2021 at 10:00am at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City, UT; where family can gather one prior to the service. Due to Covid guidelines attendance at the service is by invitation only, however everyone is invited to watch the services online. To watch the service scroll to the bottom of Frank’s obituary page on the Holbrook Mortuary website, where the service will remain available to watch for 90 days.


Funeral Service
February 27, 2021

10:00 AM
Holbrook Mortuary
3251 South 2300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

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