Jerome Johnson died December 18, 2014

Jerome D. Johnson, the best country banker the state of Arkansas ever had.

These words pretty much describe Mr. Johnson who passed away on December 18, 2014 at Southridge Assisted Living.

He was born on May 18, 1919 in the community of Morganton, Arkansas to his parents John Henry and Cora Odom Johnson.

He married the love of his life and best friend Nevalynn Aldridge Johnson on September 7, 1942.  It was truly a wonderful marriage of 59 years, Nevalynn passing away in 2001.

Mr. Johnson served his country in World War II in the European Theater being stationed at Thetford, England.  After the war he returned to Heber Springs where he began a long and illustrious career in banking with the Cleburne County Bank.  He worked his way up to President in a short time.  He was known throughout the banking community and with customers alike as a fair and honest person.  He was instrumental in helping with the initial financing of Greers Ferry Dam and related structures.

He helped bring industry to the county and was always a friend to the farmers in the area.  He truly believed in the working man.  He made many loans that were confirmed by a handshake because he knew and cared about people.  He also helped and promoted many young people in farming by buying their livestock at the county fair.  

Mr. Johnson was the type of banker you hardly see anymore.  He wanted the bank to grow, but more important to him was the help it could give people in making their lives a success.

Mr. Johnson was a faithful member of the Heber Springs First United Methodist Church and the Friendly Sunday School class.  He served many areas of the church: Chairman of the Board, Trustee, Chairman of Finance ,and probably the one that meant more to him, a member of the intercessory prayer group.

He was a past member of the Lions Club and YMBC, a member of Rotary International for 60-plus years serving  as President and being a Paul Harris Fellow.  He was a member of the Cleburne County Soil Conservation Board for many years.  In 2006, being a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce, they honored him by induction into the Hall of Honor for all of his contributions to the community.

He was a 33rd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite and a member of the Scimitar Shrine Temple.

As previously mentioned he was preceded in death by his wife Nevalynn.  Also preceding him were his parents; brother and sister-in-law Howard and Nobia Johnson; infant sister who died at birth; and nephew Johnny L. Johnson.

Those left to celebrate his life are his son and daughter-in-law Ricky and Mary Jane Johnson of Searcy; two grandsons Ryan and wife Emily, and Joshua, both of Little Rock; two great granddaughters Audrey Jane and Nora Lynn; brother-in-law Walter Aldridge of Heber Springs and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family would like to extend their thanks to the aides, nurses and owners of Southridge Assisted Living for their love, kindness and respect.  Thanks also to Hospice Home Care for their assistance.

Visitation was Monday, December 22nd followed by a  celebration of his life  at First United Methodist Church of Heber Springs with Rev. Tommy Toombs officiating. Interment was at Cleburne County Memorial Gardens.  Honorary Pallbearers were members of the Friendly Sunday School class, Intercessory Prayer Group, and Heber Springs Rotary Club.   Memorials may be made to the Heber Springs First United Methodist Church, 1099 W. Pine St., Heber Springs, AR  72543.

Arrangements by Olmstead Funeral Home.  www.olmstead.cc