Family and friends will soon gather in Prescott, Arizona to celebrate the life of Dusty Johnson, who, like his favorite Saturday Matinee western movie hero, rode off into the sunset on April 24, 2020.
Never spotted in anything but cowboy boots, hard crease jeans and a western shirt, Dusty always conveyed the essence of a classic cowboy. If you are wondering if you ever met him, you didn’t, because you WOULD remember; he was one-of-a-kind.
Dusty was born in Illinois in July of 1944, and according to him, 100 years too late. Raised in Phoenix, he lived his life in the spirit of the old west, dedicating himself to preserving the craftsmanship of artisans from days gone by.
In 1965, during what was meant to be a brief stop at his home in Arizona, he met and married Sharon Floyd, the love of his life for over 50 years. Dusty and Sharon had two daughters, Teresa (Paul) Rutledge and Lisa (Shane) Rosenthal, and five grandchildren: Scott, Erik, Kate Rutledge, and Erin, Grant Rosenthal. He is also survived by his brother Tim (Karen) Johnson, and their sons Michael and Adam.
In his youth, Dusty was a bareback bronc rider, riding until he realized just how hard the ground really was. While raising his family in Colorado he found himself on the other side of the horse as a master farrier, blacksmith, and finally, an internationally recognized saddlemaker, mentor, and silver parade saddle restoration expert.
Dusty was a master craftsman who shared his passion and knowledge through his western saddle making classes at the Pleasant Valley Saddle Shop and his acclaimed series of leathercraft books and DVDs.
An avid collector, Dusty was known for his love of cars, vintage spurs, Native American flutes, Hollywood-style holsters, saddles, and more.
Early exposure to ventriloquism and magic opened the door to a lifelong passion. In his youth, he performed as Dusty the Magic Cowboy. Most recently, he used his gun spinning, whip cracking, and magic skills in a western comedy act, Deadshot Dusty and the Lovely Miss Sharon.
He will be remembered as a true friend with a great personality and a genuine sense of humor. Although he will be missed by his family and many friends, he leaves a legacy of a life well-lived. He will not be forgotten.
For those wishing to honor Dusty’s memory, we invite you to donate, in his name, to the charity of your choice.