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Front Page » June 3, 2003 » Local News » Deputy Dies in Car Accident
Published 4,128 days ago

Deputy Dies in Car Accident


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

Law enforcement officers carry Deputy Jeremiah Johnson.

One of Emery County's finest lost his life early on the morning of May 27 when he was involved in a car accident. Deputy Jeremiah Johnson was on duty for the Emery County Sheriff's Office at the time of the accident. Deputy Johnson has been employed with the sheriff's office for the past six years. He was devoted in his duties to the county and enjoyed serving his fellow man in the capacity of law enforcement.

He enjoyed his work with the establishment of the drug court program in Emery County which keeps individuals suffering from addictions from incarceration and helps them get their lives back in order. He believed that everyone deserves a second chance and an opportunity to better themselves in this life. He truly inspired and encouraged those who he worked with.

Deputy Johnson leaves behind his wife, Lisa and three small children, Trevor, Noah and Sydney, whom he loved very much. Deputy Johnson is the son of long time county commissioner Randy Johnson and his wife Betsy of Castle Dale. Funeral services were held for Deputy Johnson on May 31 at 1 p.m. Bishop Garth Johnson conducted the services. A family prayer was given by Tyler Johnson. Bishop Johnson expressed appreciation to those in law enforcement who were in attendance at the services. "It is an honor to Jeremiah and his family."

Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon spoke at the services, he described Jeremiah as mischievous and always wanting to do the right things for the right reasons. He said Jeremiah started in dispatch, went to the jail and then to the police academy. "Things don't move too fast in our office and when the opportunity came for Jeremiah to go to the police academy he went and did well. Jeremiah could run all day, but he couldn't run fast. He couldn't graduate from the academy because he was two minutes too slow on his run. So he swallowed his pride and came back to the jail until he could master his run. He went back to the academy four or five times until he passed off his run and was able to graduate and become eligible for patrol work.

"Jeremiah has been with the sheriff's office for six and one half years and worked in every division. Jeremiah was a nice person, he had no trouble being nice. Jeremiah spoke fluent Spanish, having served a LDS mission in Equador and we used his ability to speak Spanish many times at the office. One time Capt. Ekker was interviewing a non-English speaking suspect and Jeremiah was translating the questions. The Captain noticed that Jeremiah and the suspect were becoming a little too friendly so he took Jeremiah aside and told him, 'I want you to ask him the questions in exactly the same way, with the same tone of voice that I'm using. I don't want you to give this guy the first discussion.'

"Jeremiah has been a good influence in our office and added integrity. He never refused or complained about any assignment. Jeremiah wanted a job where he could make a difference. When asked if he thought he could stomp out crime, he answered that every day he could do little things that would make a difference. He recently participated in SWAT training. Family was the most important thing in Jeremiah's life. He will live on in his three children," said Sheriff Guymon.

Sheriff Guymon thanked all the law enforcement officers who helped at the scene of the accident and the highway patrol by covering the sheriff's office so the officers could attend the services.

Fallen warrior, Deputy Jeremiah Johnson participates in SWAT training in August of 2002. He loved all firearms training.

Jeremiah's brother, Jacob also spoke at the services, he described his brother as being his hero and touching the lives of everyone he met. He said Jeremiah had a thirst for knowledge and learning about how things worked. He described Jeremiah riding his tricycle down the stairs of their home when they were youngsters and then heading back up and doing it again. Jeremiah also rigged up a parachute for his younger brother and persuaded him to jump off the balcony to test it out. Jeremiah was an avid reader and Jacob looked to Jeremiah to help him pick out books to read. Jeremiah pulled a drowning boy from a swimming pool one time and was awarded the boy scout medal of honor.

Jeremiah also recently saved the life of his young daughter Sydney when she stopped breathing due to an illness. Jeremiah performed CPR on the child and restored her breathing. "Jeremiah loved being a cop. He loved his job and everything about it. He especially loved the SWAT training and called me to tell me everything they had done and we talked for hours. He choose to be a police officer because he loved serving. He also loved the gospel. You never needed to ask what he stood for. Jeremiah excelled as a missionary. He loved the people there. His mission president said that Jeremiah exuded goodness and righteousness. He had a unique way of making everyone feel special. He loved his dear wife and his family came first. He knew that he was going to marry his wife from the first time he met her at a dance. They were married four months after they met.

"Jeremiah loved to barbeque and he became an excellent chef. He also coached his little boy's baseball team to spend time with him. Jeremiah was a wonderful example. He had 30 great years. I saw him last Saturday after not seeing him for nine months. We picked up right where we left off after this long separation. I know I will see him again and we will pick up where we left off and I will look forward to that reunion," said Jacob.

Jacob read a statement from the Johnson family expressing their gratitude for the support they have received at this time of Jeremiah's death.

Bishop Johnson spoke of the Savior, Jesus Christ and how he knows and felt everything the family has been through this past week. He described Jeremiah as living life abundantly. "In order to have joyful reunions we must suffer through tearful goodbyes," said Bishop Johnson. He also told the audience that grief and mourning are necessary for they have loved much and the Lord would not leave them comfortless at this time of their loss.

The services concluded and all of the police officers present gathered outside to salute the flag covered casket as the pallbearers carried it through the assembly. A police procession led the way to the cemetery for the burial of Deputy Johnson. Members of the Utah Highway Patrol offered a 21 gun salute and the gravesite was dedicated by Randy Johnson, Jeremiah's father.

The officers at the Emery County Sheriff's Office shared some of their thoughts of Jeremiah.

I cannot think of Officer Jeremiah Johnson without the thought of integrity coming to mind. There is no officer more trustworthy, honest and loyal to the cause than Miah.

Miah worked so hard to become part of the law enforcement community, his dedication and commitment are manifest in the manner he was able to so proudly protect and serve in our community. My deepest sympathy go to Miah's parents and extended family although my heart goes to his spouse and children.

To Miah, God bless until we meet again!

Law enforcement officers salute as Deputy Jeremiah Johnson is brought to rest.

Fellow Officer, Sgt. Les Wilberg, Emery County Sheriff's Office

I had the honor and privilege to know and work with Jeremiah. He is a man of great integrity. This is a great loss to our office and community, we can never replace Jeremiah. He had a soft and gentle way of dealing with people that will be missed. Jeremiah is a hero to all who knew him. Thank you Jeremiah for the example you are. We will not forget you.

Sgt. Tom Harrison, Emery County Sheriff's Office

Jeremiah was one of the few great ones who really made a difference. To his family, Jeremiah was a loving husband, great father, and devoted family man. To his friends and co-workers, Jeremiah was a hard worker, always cared about the job he was doing and those who he was protecting. You always knew you could count on Jeremiah to be there when you needed help. To our community and everyone who knew him, we all know this is a great loss and we will ALWAYS remember him as our hero.

Deputy Paul Simmons, Emery County Sheriff's Office

Jeremiah was a gentle giant. He was in the job to make a difference, and did. Jeremiah was successful in all that he did. It has been a pleasure to be able to know and work with Jeremiah for the last six and one-half years. Jeremiah had more integrity than most anyone else that I know. There is no way to replace a man of such integrity and he will be deeply missed. My deepest thoughts go out to Jeremiah's parents, brothers, sisters and especially his wife and three darling children. To Jeremiah's wife: Know that he loved you with all his heart and his pride and joy was the three children that you have together. To the children: Know that your father was a great man and a hero and loved you much. May God be with you, to comfort you in these hard times.

Sgt. Gayle E. Jensen, Emery County Sheriff's Office

I would like to thank the Johnson family for the opportunity of working with their son, and to Lisa for working with her husband. Jeremiah was what law enforcement stands for. There isn't anyone with more integrity than Jeremiah. He was a real warrior. Anything that needed to be done he would step up and do it. He was the type of guy who aimed for perfection. There are no words to express how I feel.....I love the guy. His parents named him right, he was like a big mountainman, Jeremiah Johnson. That movie came out the same year Jeremiah was born. I have a picture of John Wayne in my office and Jeremiah would salute that picture every time before he would sit down and talk to me. He was the John Wayne of our office. We are all going to miss him so much.

Capt. Kyle Ekker, Emery County Sheriff's Office


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