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Local News Obituaries

Independent Obituaries: April 19, 2023

The following obituaries appeared in the April 19, 2023 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.

For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.


Chris Johnson

Christopher David Johnson was born March 24, 1984 to Rick and Paula Johnson in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was the first baby born into their extensive friend group, so he held a special place in all their lives.

Chris attended Star Valley High School and graduated in 2002. He was an avid outdoorsman and worked as a whitewater river guide on Class V rivers in Northwestern United States. He then followed in his father’s footsteps and took over the family business, Johnson Electric.

Chris very much enjoyed taking his friends and family on extraordinary adventures in the outdoors. The adventure that brought him the most joy, however, was being father to Neveah and Maddison. He was a devoted dad and passed on his love of all things wild to them. Even before the girls could walk, the three of them could be found together climbing rock walls in Utah, rafting rapids together, skiing down mountains, boating on the Palisades, and fishing. S’mores and campfires were always a hit with his little girls.

Chris had a true sportsman’s respect for the land as well as deep respect for the animal on his hunting trips. It began from the moment he saw the animal until he plated the food with great attention to detail for his family. Chris enjoyed big game hunting as well as fishing in Alaska with his brothers Eric and Corey. Chris had a profound passion for cooking and grilling – game meat was his specialty. Unless you ask his daughters – they would say he was the best at macaroni and cheese.

Chris had many close friends over the years and they were very important to him. Chris left us all too early on March 26, 2023. He will be greatly missed as a father, son, brother, and friend.

He is survived by his former wife, Chantelle, and daughters Neveah and Maddison, his mother Paula Johnson, brothers Corey (Taylor), Eric (Mallory), and nieces Kaia and Avery, and girlfriend Ruthie Cuthriell.

Memorial arrangements are being made for a later date.


Rick Johnson

Richard Melvin Johnson passed away peacefully in his home on November 1, 2022 in Alpine, Wyoming. Rick was born on February 3, 1947 in Aberdeen, Washington to Elmer and Elaine Johnson.

Rick graduated from Pioneer High School in California in 1965. He then attended San Jose State University earning a business degree.

Rick was drafted into the army and served in Vietnam in 1968 on the front lines. While in Hawaii on leave, he decided that on his way back to the war zone, he’d illegally stop in San Jose to visit family. Rick later shared when back home for good he thought it would be the last time he’d ever see his family. In a particularly extreme fire-fight, Rick’s good friend was hit, and Rick held him as his life ebbed away. On his return from the war, before coming back to California, Rick paid a visit to his friend’s parents in the Midwest.

Rick moved to Alpine in the early 1970’s and began his electric business in Star Valley. Early on in life, Rick had picked up electrical skills and knowledge from his dad. He was well known for his expertise as well as his entrepreneurial spirit as he also dabbled in real estate.

Rick married Paula Hardt in 1983 in Tahoe. Their marriage was blessed with three sons. Rick was known for his fun nature and spontaneity. After their wedding ceremony, all the guys ended up diving into the pool in their wedding finery. There was definitely a tight knit group of friends that ran around together in the early days of Alpine, and Rick was always found with them. Rick was a true blue Alpine resident and served as an EMT, a firefighter, city council member, and belonged to the American Legion Unit 46 of Alpine.

Rick was preceded in death by his father and mother, Elmer and Elaine Johnson as well as brother Robert Johnson.

He is survived by loving wife Paula, sons Chris, Corey (Taylor), and Eric (Mallory) and grandchildren Neveah and Maddison, Kaia, and Avery. He is also survived by his sister Sue (Walt) Mullen of California, and brother Dave (Patty) Johnson.

Memorial arrangements are being made for a later date.


Floyd E. Walton

Floyd E. Walton passed away on April 13, 2023 at Nathan Adelison Hospice in Las Vegas Nevada.

Floyd was the youngest of the 6 children of the late Raymond and Edith Walton of Smoot, Wyoming.

Floyd enjoyed gold mining and panning for gold and mostly anything to do with geology. He was also very artistic and creative. Floyd formed a relationship with Bonnie McFalls in 2010. They were a great match for each other, they enjoyed their retirement years dancing and hiking. Bonnie took great care of Floyd always, but especially during his illness.

Floyd is survived by Bonnie McFalls, Bonnie’s daughter Lora and by his children Reba Straw, Nathan Campbell, Marie Ewing, Jannette Ritchie and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Floyd was preceded in death by his parents Raymond and Edith Walton, his two brothers Howard and Ralph Walton and his three sisters Doris Johnson, Cecil Diaz, Hazel Schilowsky and a grandson Jed Leavitt.

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