Obituary: Albin (J-Jay) Johnson

Albin (J-Jay) Johnson
Albin (J-Jay) Johnson
Provided Photo

March 8, 1951 – May 12, 2022

Albin (J-Jay) Johnson, 71, of Yampa, Colorado died at home May 12, 2022 after bravely battling cancer. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his three children, six grandchildren, brothers and sisters, dear friends and two yellow labs.

J-Jay was born in Elgin, Minnesota to Marian Leibold and Douglas Johnson and grew up with four brothers and four sisters who he stayed close with throughout his life.

He was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1970 and served in the highly decorated Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade of the US Army. After returning from the war in 1971, he moved his family to Santa Cruz, California where he first began studying and practicing art – ranging from drawing to painting to leatherwork to clay and sculpture.

He moved to Colorado in 1991 and began what he called high altitude sculpting, working in porcelain. His unique pieces were painted in painstakingly detailed, black and white designs inspired by Native American and Western history in the Yampa Valley and surrounding areas.

While primarily earning a living as a carpenter, his passion and remarkable talent was always creating and making art. As an amateur artist he took first and second place at the Steamboat Depot Art Center fair. As a professional artist, he founded Leisure Mountain Studios and had studios in Dolores and Yampa, Colorado.

J-Jay was an avid fisherman, hunter and outdoorsman who found peace and inspiration from the beauty of nature surrounding him. He enjoyed watching Westerns, had a hearty appetite – especially for ice cream – and a wonderful sense of humor right until the end. His generosity and love for his family and friends knew no bounds and he will be fondly remembered by everyone whose life he touched.

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