Matthew Berry Johnson
Thirty-two years old, Rapid City, SD
Went home to be with his Father in Heaven on Saturday, January 17, 2015.
Matthew was born on June 26, 1982 in Santa Cruz, CA to his parents, Greg and Carla Johnson, five years after the birth of his sister, Carrie Lynn in Rapid City, SD. Thirteen years later his brother Christopher was born in Santa Mateo, CA.
As a boy, Matthew was fortunate to have a good buddy, his sister Carrie Lynn and wonderful grandparents, Maurice and Betty Johnson close by him from his birth.
As Matthew grew, he exhibited a far reaching imagination. He loved building things (and taking them apart), putting together costumes for whatever character he dreamed up, and demonstrated a natural penchant for singing. Matthew was “the happy boy,” always smiling, always joking, with a non-judgmental knack for encouraging others as he amused them. He was the jewel in his mother’s crown and the joy of her heart. While attending Mar Vista Elementary School in Aptos, California, Matthew became a proficient student of the trumpet, greatly impressing his private instructor. During these years Matthew was involved in Cub Shouts, Boy Scouts and his church. Years later he became the Scout Master for Cub Scout Pack 2, the oldest Cub Scout Pack in the Black Hills Area.
As a teenager, Matthew developed a love for everything that had to do with a historical liner, The Titanic. He watched everything in the media, read every book and as a young man, built a museum quality model of his beloved ship. Matthew poured over photos and drawings of major engineering accomplishments. Soon he was drawing incredibly detailed three dimensional views of city streets with towering skyscrapers. Imagine his awe of the nearby surroundings when he moved with his family to the South San Francisco Peninsula City of San Mateo. Trips to “The City” became pilgrimages for Matthew and his father, which they talked about for years to come. The highlight of this period of time was the birth of Matthew’s younger brother, Christopher.
Matthew loved cities, and next on his life’s itinerary was Portland, Oregon. Matthew attended high school in a North Portland suburb which is where he met his true love, Sarah. Although they went their separate ways, Sarah has been in close contact with the family since Matthew’s departure and it is a blessing to “close the loop” in this way.
Matthew’s family moved back to Rapid City in the late 90’s. Matthew graduated in 2000 from Stevens High School. With his big sister living far away, and his “little” brother now an adolescent, Matthew and Christopher grew close. They were good buddies.
Matthew’s son, Travis Johnson came into his life in 2001. Matthew enjoyed, camping, fishing, and gaming during his last years with his son and family. Matthew learned to be an awesome dad. With his father’s help, Travis became a straight “A” student.
For employment, Matthew worked mostly in building service positions and currently managed projects for a large area service company.
This is Matthew’s last post on Facebook from January 10, 2015: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Oh, and by the way, Matthew never changed from being the happy, non-judgmental encourager, with a wide open heart. A true Barnabas!
Matthew is survived by his son Travis Johnson, mother Carla Johnson, father Gregory Johnson, sister Carrie Lynn Finley, and brother Christopher Johnson.
• Services for Matthew Berry Johnson will be on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 11:00 am. The location is Kirk’s Funeral Home at 1051 East Minnesota Street, Rapid City, SD. Pastor Norman W. Pierce will be officiating.
• Viewing is optional beginning at 10:00 am
• Immediately following the services the burial will take place at Pine Lawn Cemetery, 4301 Tower Rd., Rapid City, SD
• A Reception follows at Colonial House Restaurant, 2501 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SD