If you ever want to meet a hard-working, talented, church-going, loving family man, Albert Johnson of Georgetown is the epitome of all those things. One would never know from his natural inclination to play down his appearance, and predisposition to talk about his wife and children before himself, just how talented he his and how many things he is involved in. He is also the first person to help if you are in need, talk to you if you are down, and give selflessly of himself if the situation calls for it
Albert was born to Russell and Anna Marie Johnson of Georgetown. He has one sister, Valerie, and two brothers, Todd and Mario.
He is a fifth-generation farming man. His great-great-grandfather on his father’s side came west to explore for gold in California and stopped in Georgetown. In the early 1880s he homesteaded the farm that Albert still owns. His heritage runs deep.
His great-grandfather on his mother’s side of the family came west also. He had a degree in music from a conservatory in Boston, Mas. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was killed in the 1830s in a flour mill in Franklin, Ida. Albert’s great-grandmother brought his body to Georgetown where her family resided, and she homesteaded a great deal of land there.
Albert still runs the family farm, which is about 120 acres of irrigated alfalfa, barley, and grain. The last two years he was able to market it organic to a dairy in Amarillo, Tex. His son, Alex, helps a great deal with farming when he’s not busy driving truck.
Albert also owns quarter horses and Percheron draft horses. At Christmas, he takes the family and others on exciting sleigh rides with these great horses pulling the sleigh.
Albert had an ideal marriage for 26 years to his wife, Roxanne. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2008 from complications of a brain tumor surgery leaving him with their two sons, Alex and Nic, and many wonderful memories.
In 2009, he married his current wife, Merri, in the Idaho Falls Temple. She also has two sons, James and Chris. Together they have four grandchildren. They have been married for 10 years now, and have loved every minute of it. Merri works for Zions Bank.
Not long after they were married, Merri sold her house in Rigby and they started working on building their own house in Georgetown, which Albert general contracted himself. It is a big, beautiful log house with floor to second-level ceiling vertical windows on the west side and a wonderful family porch on the east side. They hauled all of the huge vertical logs out of Redpine Canyon in Georgetown themselves and hand-peeled and sanded every one of them. It’s a beautiful home, both inside and out.
Music was a great part of Albert’s life from the time he was little. Music also ran in the family back several generations. As mentioned above, his great-grandfather had a degree in music. His grandfather also taught band in Georgetown High School. His dad, Russell, started playing in his own band, which Albert started playing in for dances quite young. His dad put him and his brother, Todd, and sister, Valerie, together in a band, and they played together for several years. He took piano lessons from his grandma, but he played trumpet since he was 10 or 11 years old. He played piano, guitar, and trumpet professionally for 40 years in clubs and other places. He eventually left that and went to classical and jazz big band music. The last two years, he has played as lead trumpet in the Snake River New Horizons Band in Pocatello. That group entertained the masses in Georgetown for Twin Creeks Days this summer. He has also played with the Pocatello City Municipal Band in concert series the last two years. This summer he played in the Paris Tabernacle for the 4th of July in a 12-trumpet group from all of the intermountain area. They played a rendition LeRoy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday, which they also played at the Utah State Freedom Fire. This group is made up of renowned trumpet players from the University of Utah teachers and professors, organized by Neil Harris. Albert also plays in a local band called the Ping-Pong Express, a six-piece jazz-rock band that plays music by the group “Chicago.” They will be playing at the Bear Lake County Fair after the parade. This group is made up of all local people from Bear Lake.
Albert has also performed many civic duties throughout the years. He sat on the Georgetown City Council for 10 years, later being voted in as mayor for the City of Georgetown. He is the Vice Chair for the Bear Lake Planning and Zoning Commission, he sits on the Bear Lake Regional Commission, he is the President of the Bear Lake County Farm Bureau, he spent eight years on the State Board of Directors for the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation in Pocatello, and he is the Chairman of the Idaho Department of Ag Seed Arbitration Council, appointed by the Attorney General.
He and his wife, Merri, travel a great deal because of both her job and his position with the Farm Bureau. They have travelled all over the US because of his being on the American Farm Bureau Equine Committee from 2009 to 2015. At one point they travelled up the east coast and went through all of the historical sites in Washington DC, including all of the Smithsonian buildings, and sat in the congressional seats. They visited the Birdland Jazz Club on 44th Street in New York City twice, and travelled to San Antonio, Anaheim, Irvine, San Diego, Seattle, and many other wonderful places. It has been very rewarding and fulfilling for them.
Albert has served for 20 years in church leadership positions. He recently served for five years in the branch presidency at the Caribou County jail. There they served the inmates, counseling with them and teaching them to find a better way for themselves and their lives. He said, “We were good farmers and planted a lot of seeds.”
Albert also owns and operates a business in Georgetown called Trailside Service where he does welding and repair of pipe and farm machinery for neighbors and friends, or others who may need it.
He also shoes horses, specializing in draft teams. He has made specially-made draft shoes for pulling on pavement and ice for years and years. He makes these shoes for several teams a year. He feels it is his heritage, because his dad shoed horses and so do both of his brothers.
Last but not least, Albert collects antique Swedish sleigh bells. His dad started this because of a set he had. Albert has that set, and after about five years he finally found all of the right numbered bells for graduating sizes, and polished them and made straps to mount them on.
Albert is obviously a man of many talents and a man of great depth. He is a genuine Bear-Laker and farmer and all-around good guy. He is always happy, and his words are always uplifting. He always leaves you feeling better about yourself. He is someone this author is proud to call her neighbor and friend.