Edward Robert “Jiggs” Johnson


Edward Robert Jiggs Johnson

Edward Robert “Jiggs” Johnson
December 31, 1932 – June 9, 2016

Viewing services will be held at Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley on Friday, June 17 from 6-8:00 P.M.  Funeral services will be held on June 18, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1280 S. 8th Street in El Centro at 9:00 A.M.  Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley immediately following

Edward Robert “Jiggs” Johnson passed away peacefully at home on June 9, 2016 after a lengthy struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Jiggs was born on December 31, 1932 in Tularosa, New Mexico.

He moved to the Imperial Valley with his parents and siblings in 1942 when he was 9 years old.  He graduated from Brawley High School in 1950 and married his high school sweetheart Mary Wadell November 7, 1951.

As a self-made man who started with virtually nothing when he entered the cattle business at age 17, he earned the respect and admiration of his coworkers, employees and community throughout his distinguished and successful career.  In 1958 he joined Heber Cattle Feeders which became El Torro Land and Cattle Co. in 1965, and became a partner with Matt LaBrucherie and Bob O’Dell.

His honesty, integrity and work ethic have made him a revered and respected cattleman. Together with El Toro Land and Cattle, Jiggs, has exemplified humanitarianism and philanthropy in so many ways.  Jiggs and the El Toro Crew have donated countless hours and plenty of beef, beans and rice over the years.   Many individuals have benefited from his generosity.

We lovingly remember his sparkling blue eyes, deep dimples, ready handshake, yodeling, poetry, folk songs, stories and jokes.  He was a practical joker; one of his favorites was the wild mongoose! Jiggs was a member of the Stockman’s Club, the Rustler’s, and the Mounted Sheriff’s Posse.  Jiggs was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served at the San Diego Temple.

Jiggs was preceded in death by his parents, William Preston and Grace Pickard Johnnson, his first wife, Mary Elsie Wadell, his only son, Gordon Carl Johnson, grandsons, Steven R. Donnell and Charles L. Haskell.  His brothers, Pat, Buddy and Billy also preceded him in death.

He is survived by his four daughters, Karla (Ron) Haskell and children Chandra, Robert, Ronald Jr., James and Chris;  Jan (Lynn) Jensen and children Sam, Andrew and Amy; Margo (Mel) Lamoreaux and children Tricia, Toni, Michael and Mark; Gordon’s wife Kathy and children Beth, Katelyn, Cody and Carlee; Jolene (Shuck) Donnell and daughters Shawna and Cindy.  Jiggs has a sister Joan (Clay) Knudtson, a brother Dickie Johnson and brother-in-law Roger (Leola) Wadell.

Jiggs married Deanna Pew on March 6, 1987 he has been a loving father to her five children and is also survived by them: Brett Oram and his daughter Kendal; Becky (Brian) Higginson and children Meg, Madeline, Emily, Tom and Aiden; Bill (Rachele) Oram and children Sydney, Sam, Hanna and Cole; Lee (Courtney) Oram and children Paige, Abby, Navy, Andersen, Quincy and Case; David (Stefany) Pew and children Kylee, Carter and Cora.  He also has 32 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

The family would like to thank his dedicated caregivers Roberto Fierro, Ruthie Burney, Delia Camacho, Eder Lara and granddaughter Amy Grooms.  We are also grateful for the care provided by Aria Hospice, particularly Ambrosia, Alma and Mike.  And a thank you to our friend Natalie Calderon.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Humanitarian Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the American Cancer Society.


  1. Jiggs was a great man and community servant. My son spent a lot of time with one of his kids and I grew up across from the Mormon Church in El Centro. He was beloved by many and will be missed by many more! God bless his family and legacy.

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