Burdette Lee Johnson

Burdette Lee Johnson

AQHA Director Emeritus Burdette Lee Johnson died May 9.

horse rider silhouette at sunset (photo by Manuela Berg)

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Burdette Lee Johnson, 84, of Shell Rock, Iowa, died on May 9 at his home in Shell Rock. Burdette was born on September 30, 1936, in Aurora, Iowa, the son of Duane Charles and Winifred Mae (Mulford) Johnson.

He graduated from Independence High School in 1955. He was united in marriage to Ellyn Janet Wyth on December 28, 1957, in Cedar Falls. Together the couple farmed and bred and raised American Quarter Horses near Shell Rock.

Burdette’s love of horses found him traveling around the world as an AQHA judge. He served 29 years on the Butler County Fair Board. He was a long-term AQHA director, representing Iowa, and was elevated to director emeritus in 2007. He also served nine years on the board of the directors for the Iowa Quarter Horse Association and is an AQHA life member. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, hunting and dancing. 

Burdette is survived by his wife, Ellyn Johnson of Shell Rock; son Craig Johnson of Shell Rock; and daughter Brenda Johnson-Knop of Atlanta; two grandchildren, Kylee Knop-Vargason and Sarah Johnson-Helderman; great-grandchild, Jaxson Burdette; and two brothers, Rick Johnson of Winthrop and Darwin Johnson of Independence. Burdette was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Glenn Johnson. 

For funeral service information, view the full obituary.