Mary Jane Johnson was born in Independence, Kansas in October of 1938 to Jack and Myrtle Patton. She moved to Laramie, Wyoming in 1949 where Jack took a job in the lumber business and became a homebuilder. Mary Jane grew up riding horses around Laramie and loved helping out on a friend’s sheep ranch. She graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1956 but remained loyal to her class at Laramie High School. She married Donald Johnson in 1956 and had 2 children, Tim and Jacklyn. She attended University of Wyoming and then was a partner in the homebuilding business, and owned The Still liquor store and The First Tree gift shop. Mary Jane was active in the Laramie Chamber of Commerce and helped bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Laramie. After retiring she returned to her love of riding horses and became an accomplished cutter, competing in the Western National Cutting Horse Show in Ogden, Utah.
Mary Jane moved to Gallatin Gateway, Montana in 1997. When she was not on horseback in the mountains, Mary Jane was active in the Montana Winter Fair, Montana State University’s Cowboys & Candlelight event for the Rodeo team, and the Madison Gallatin County Cattle woman’s Association. Due to declining health, she spent her final three years in Helena, Montana living at Touchmark with her loyal Yorkshire terrier, Sassy.
Mary Jane is survived by her companion Jerry McConnell, of Laramie, Wyoming; son, Tim and Sara Johnson of Helena, Montana; daughter Jacklyn and Scot Dowdy of Fort Collins, Colorado; Grandsons, Taylor Johnson and Deirdre Coe of Spokane Valley, Washington; Thomas and Erica Johnson of Panama City, Florida; Kirk Dowdy and Ryan Dowdy of Fort Collins, Colorado and Great-Granddaughter, Riley Melinda Johnson of Panama City, Florida.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 25th at Greenhill Cemetery in Laramie. A reception will follow at O’Dwyers Public House. Memorials in honor of Mary Jane are suggested to the Cathedral Home for Children at www.cathedralhome.org/donate.html or 4989 North 3rd Street, Laramie Wyoming 82072 or to Hospice of St. Peter’s Health, c/o St. Peter’s Health, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601.