Johney Katich, beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away December 14, 2023 in Mesa, AZ at 92.
He was born April 23, 1931 in Walsenburg, CO to John & Erse Katich. The Katich family soon moved to Erie, CO where Johney lettered in basketball and baseball at Erie High School. He was very active in the drama club and served on the student council.
After High School, he joined the navy where he served two tours of duty during the Korean conflict. First on the destroyer USS Gregory and then on the patrol frigate USS Sausalito in the Far East. He was honorably discharged in June of 1954 in San Diego. Before leaving the Navy, Johney met and married Inza Hammond (later divorced). They soon returned to Colorado to be closer to family with their first child, Russel, in tow.
He soon went to work for Dow Chemical near Denver, CO eventually becoming a draftsman, designing equipment for the nuclear power plant Dow operated for the U.S. government. He even was awarded a patent for work on a high pressure valve earning a commendation from Dow. Settling into his local community Johney became very active in his church. Johney was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served in many leadership callings including Bishop.
In addition to being an inventor, Johney had an entrepreneurial spirit, eventually opening a Baskin Robbin’s franchise in Longmont, CO. An opportunity to grow the business opened in the Ogden, UT area, so Johney moved his family, now including Darren, Phillip, Jillyn and Kyle. Eventually all of the children worked for the family business in the three stores they owned.
Feeling the call to return to his passion for designing, Johney began work at Hill Air Force Base for the US Civil Service. Johney moved into the engineering and technical division drafting aircraft parts for F-4’s and F-16’s. He retired from civil service in the Aircraft Facilities Engineering Division.
In 1987 Johney and Claudia met at a Halloween line-dance party. They married in 1988 in Layton, UT. They spent their lives in church service that included: missionary callings in the Stake, Ward and Bishop’s Store House and Johney’s favorite calling as church door greeter. They loved to travel, dance, attend plays and spend time with family. Even with all of this Johney felt the need to give back to his community, serving as a child advocate for Davis county and with the Layton City Council on the planning commission.
Johney was truly a renaissance man pursuing his passions through his hobbies, whether it was snow-skiing, deer hunting , gardening or dancing. He showed his love of people by visiting the elderly in nursing homes and driving a school bus for almost 10 years. He enjoyed the theatre, movies (especially with popcorn and chocolate), but he really loved slap-stick comedies.
Johney is survived by Claudia his spouse; sons Russell, Darren (Leslie), Phillip, and Kyle (Jackie); and Claudia’s children Don (Boo), Melanie (Keith) and Heather (Roger). He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Johney was preceded in death by his parents Erse and John; Inza, his first wife; his siblings August, Felix, Joe, Elizabeth, Theresa, Mary & Susie. And also his daughter Jillyn and granddaughter Kristen.
To the man who gave back so much…….Our Home town hero will be missed.
Funeral services will be held Thursday January 4, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah. Friends may visit with family Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary prior to the service.
Interment, Lindquist’s Memorial Park at Layton.\