SHERIDAN — Funeral services and memorials have been set up for former University of Wyoming linebacker and Sheridan High School assistant football coach Weston Johnson.
Johnson’s two-year battle with cancer came to and end Friday at his home in Wray, Colo. Johnson turned 27 last week, and had recently returned home after undergoing treatments in Houston.
Memorial services for Johnson will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Wray High School gymnasium. A Facebook message this weekend welcomed any who wished to attend, adding that there will be a time of fellowship immediately following the service for sharing stories and memories of Johnson.
His memorial, the Weston Johnson Memorial Fund, will go toward scholarships and cancer research. Follow a link through spellmanschmidtfh.com to find out more. Donations can be made to: Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home, 427 Adams Street, Wray, CO.
In addition, a local effort has been organized to gather images and videos of Johnson for the memorial service. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Facebook page Never Flinch shared the news of Johnson’s death Friday.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I tell you that Weston’s long and courageous battle has ended its final chapter and he is finally at peace now,” the message read.
In-line with the outpouring of support Johnson received throughout his fight, the post gathered more than 650 likes and more than 100 shares, with support messages flooding into the site.
Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman shared his support in a Tweet on Friday.
“One of my favorite young men passed today. Weston was the ultimate student-athlete & Cowboy. He was special. God bless. Fighter,” Burman tweeted.
Following his time as a Cowboy, Johnson joined the Sheridan football staff in 2012, spending just a year with the team but quickly becoming a part of the Bronc family.
When his battle with metastatic melanoma began, the Sheridan and Big Horn football staffs helped organize Sheridan’s branch of the “Never Flinch” campaign. The awareness effort quickly spread across the state.
Upon announcing fundraising efforts in early 2013, head coach Don Julian characterized Johnson as a “Sheridan-type kid,” due to the fact that he came from a small tight-knit community in Wray.
Brown and gold T-shirt’s with those words, showing “Never Flinch” across the front and “Cowboy Tough” across the back became a mainstay at Bronc athletic events, with SHS coaches wearing them on the sidelines of games this season.
Sheridan dedicated its 2013 season to Johnson, and at their year-end banquet, Julian read a text to his team from Johnson in which the assistant coach expressed his desire to be with the team, reminding them “Never Flinch on anything you do in life.”
At Wyoming, Johnson served as team captain for the Cowboys in 2009, the year that Wyoming beat Fresno State 35-28 in the New Mexico Bowl. He recorded five tackles and had a fumble recovery in his final game. Besides his athletic achievements that dated back to high school where he was All-State in football, basketball, track and baseball, he was a four-time Mountain West All-Academic team selection in Laramie.
He spent a brief period with the Atlanta Falcons after completing his marketing degree, then joining Sheridan’s staff.
“It doesn’t take long for the strong ones to make an impact,” Sheridan assistant coach DJ Dearcorn shared in a support message last week on his own Facebook page.
“Weston you were only in Sheridan a short time and you impacted my world all around. God be with you and your family.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.