Grand marshals cherish principles of freedom and democracy
By Linda Petersen
MT. PLEASANT—Mark and Sue Johansen have 14 grandchildren with another on the way. While none of their children or grandchildren has been able to stay in Sanpete County with their family, the couple believes they are passing along the values they learned growing up. Those include the ability to work hard, to give back to the community and to be good people.
“We’ve been from here our whole lives,” Mark said. “We’re grateful for those that put forth the effort, paving the way for us to live in this still, peaceful valley and for those willing to serve our country, state and city.”
The Fourth of July celebration “is a good reminder of all of it, to reflect back on the principles of freedom and democracy we were taught and those we know,” he said.
Mark Johansen was raised in Mt. Pleasant. His father was the Moroni Feed Company general manager. Mark grew up working on the family farm which has been in the family for a number of generations. He loved working with his father.
He attended Mt. Pleasant Elementary while Sue, who grew up in Moroni, attended Moroni Elementary.
Both attended North Sanpete Jr. High and North Sanpete High School, where Mark was on the basketball team and Sue was a cheerleader. The two began dating at the end of Sue’s junior year.
They moved away for a short time when they were first married to attend what was then Utah Technical College, where Mark studied appliance repair and Sue was enrolled in the secretarial program.
In those early years Mark worked for a Wasatch Front appliance business. They lived in Murray and Orem but It didn’t take them long to realize they wanted to return to Sanpete and raise their family here.
They moved back to Moroni for a couple of years and Mark started Minuteman Service, a refrigeration and appliance repair business. In 1980 they moved to Mt. Pleasant.
After about five years in business, Mark realized his true love was farming. So he and Sue decided to raise turkeys and cattle on the family farm and they continue farming today.
Sue worked for 19 years for Mt. Pleasant City as the accounts payable clerk and loved her time there and the people she worked with. She is currently the secretary for the Twin Creek Irrigation Company and a member of the DUP Pleasant Creek Camp. She has served in several callings in the LDS Church and is currently a stake relief society president.
‘I am very grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy because of the sacrifice of others,” she said. “I am very grateful for the pioneers, our forefathers and for the things we have today.”
The Johansens have four children, Ryan (Sheila), Stacey (Cameron) Willardson, Kyle (Krachelle) and Tyler (Sadee). They enjoy their 11 grandsons (four of whom were born eight years ago) and three granddaughters. Their children and grandchildren love to spend time in Mt. Pleasant and help at the farm whenever they can.
Mark has served as a bishop and stake president and in other positions in the church. He also served for several years on the Moroni Feed Company board and has been very involved in the community over the years.
“The community is growing and there are many people who have moved in,” he said. “We have good leaders who are trying to adapt to that growth in a way that tries to please as many people as they can. We’ve had a little bit of growing pains, but I think they’re dealing with it and we support them.”
They love this valley and the people here, they both said.
Their greatest accomplishment is their family and they are very proud of them. They love spending time with them watching ball games, camping and enjoying the mountains, fishing, working on the farm and playing cards and board games.
They were both surprised to be chosen as grand marshals this year.
“We just think there are so many other people who are more worthy of the honor,” Sue said.
“We want to thank those in the community that put so much effort into making life better around them, whether they have been in the city, the county, in LDS wards or in other religious affiliations,” she said. “Everybody works well together in the community to make it better for everyone.”