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Obituary for John Walter Posnien

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John Walter Posnien

June 22, 1938 - September 27, 2014

John Posnien, lifelong and devoted Huntsville resident, beloved husband, and former Shooting Star Saloon owner passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 27, 2014.
John was born June 22, 1938 in Ogden, Utah to Walter and Rhoda Posnien and they and his sister Nancy moved to present day Huntsville in 1948. Once in Huntsville, he loved the town so much, he decided at that point that he was never going to leave.
After graduating from Ogden High, he later followed in his father’s footsteps as an optician and ran the Ogden Optical Store. At that time, he also met his future wife Heidi, “the most beautiful woman that Germany ever produced” who remained at his side till the end.
Following his career as an optician, John became a successful real estate broker and ultimately he pursued his passion to own the infamous Shooting Star Saloon. Over the years, he and Heidi remained vigilant in maintaining and preserving the historical and symbolic importance of the longest continually running bar in Utah. John held court in the bar, telling elaborate stories of the past and singing his favorite cowboy songs. Once patrons had settled in and started to enjoy the evening atmosphere, he would then proceed to kick everyone out and close the bar…as he was tired and decided it was time to go home.
John was a complex character. He was born with a natural charm, quick wit, a twinkle in his eye, but also had the reputation of being stubborn as a mule. But he would debate because he cared. He was committed to safeguarding the town and way of life that generations before had done for us. He served on the town council and with his exceptional memory remained over the years a town historian and consult. John was most grateful and proud in 2011 when Huntsville named Heidi and him the Grand Marshalls for the annual July 4th parade.
John is survived by his wife, Heidi Posnien; grandchildren, Andrea Park and Andre C. Park; sister, Nancy (Richard) Marty; Rhonda’s step-daughter, Lisa (Eric) Shumway,
He was preceded in death by both parents, daughter, Rhonda Andersen, granddaughter, Tara Andersen, and son, Andre P. Park.
John will be missed by his family and friends, but his spirit will live on in the cowboy songs that continue to play in the little bar down the street.
Special thank yous to Encompass Home Health who took such good care of John, our wonderful Huntsville neighbors who have been so helpful and supportive, and to Dr. Seth Lewis and his staff.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, October 6, 2014 at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 – 36th St., Ogden, UT at 10:00 am. A viewing will be held Sunday, October 5, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Leavitt’s Mortuary and one hour prior to the services from 9:00 – 9:45 am


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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Leavitt's Mortuary


836 36th Street , , Ogden, UT, 84403

Leavitt’s Mortuary

836-36th St.

Ogden, UT

There will also be a viewing from 9:00 – 9:45 am prior to the service on Monday, Oct 6


Service Information

Date: Monday, October 6, 2014

Time: 10:00 am -

Leavitts Mortuary


836 36th Street, , Ogden, UT, 84403

Leavitt’s Mortuary

836-36th St

Ogden, UT

There will also be a visitation from 9:00 – 9:45 am prior to the service.

Cemetery Information

Date: Monday, October 6, 2014

Huntsville City Cemetery


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Interment will be after the service that begins at 10:00 am at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836-36th St. Ogden


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Timeline for John Walter Posnien

Born: June 22, 1938
Died: September 27, 2014

Condolences for John Walter Posnien

Damon Rothert posted on 11/3/14

Heidi, So sorry to hear about John. I waited to long to get a hold of you two. I kept up with some of what was going on in Huntsville and read things about you two. Even though it was just a short period in your life, I always enjoyed and remember staying there with you. I hope you are doing ok. We also just lost my dad on Oct. 16th, one month after his birthday. Damon Rothert


Claudia & Robert McNair; Vi McNair posted on 10/16/14

Dear Heidi & family, We are so sorry about John's passing. We enjoyed his company at the Shooting Star. He will be missed. Our condolences, Claudia, Robert & Vi


DEANNA PERKINS posted on 10/6/14

Dear Heidi, so very sorry to hear of John's passing. We will always have so many wonderful memories of times with all of you at the Star. Hope all is well with you and our thoughts are with you at this time. Sincerely, Tom and Deanna Perkins Mesquite Nv.


Cathy Runnels posted on 10/2/14

I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I remember him from my childhood during the years that my brother Jay ran with Andy and Rhonda. I always had a great respect for him, as did most of the kids back then. I talked with John on various occasions as I grew older and visited the Shootin Star to enjoy star burgers and beer. John was a good man. He could keep the bar patrons in awe with the stories he told about Huntsville and from time to time he would remind us of the trouble we kids got ourselves into, it was all in good humor, he was never condescending, he just let us know that he never forgot about us. I am so sorry for your loss. John will be sorely missed.


Ron and Judy Gault posted on 10/2/14

We were very saddened to hear of John's passing. I have worked with John many times as a fellow member of the Huntsville Town Council and Planning Commission. He was instrumental in helping me with the writing of the Town Master Plan and many ordinances. John was passionate about protecting the character of life in Huntsville and spoke from the heart. We had many long discussions on the issues and while he was strong in his opinions, he was always willing to listen to other opposing opinions. He and Heidi's stewardship of the Shootin' Star kept a historic landmark as original as possibly could be done and made it one of the most written about 'watering-holes' in America. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family. Ron and Judy Gault


Judy Hansen posted on 10/1/14

So sad to hear of John's passing. We did not know Heidi, but we grew up next door to John & Nancy in Ogden before they moved to Huntsville. Over the years whenever we saw him he was a great guy. We always loved going to the Shooting Star. We wanted to send our condolences and sadness to all his family. The "Phillips" girls= Judy (Phillips) Hansen Carlene (Phillips) Rollo, Linda (Phillips) Parsons


Dick Speechly posted on 10/1/14

I was so sorry to read of John,s passing and wanted to express my most sincere condolences to you Heidi and your family. John was a favorite client of mine and you as well. He was quite a character as you know and I will miss interacting with him. May you be blessed with peace and strength as you pass through difficult time. God Bless you, Dick Speechly