Larry R. Johnson, USN Retired, returned to his Heavenly Father the evening of July 17th, 2013, while at home with his beloved wife and daughter. Larry was born July 23, 1938, to the homesteading family of William Halvor and Mildred Johnson in Gillette, WY. Larry is survived by his wife Elizabeth, two children, and four grandchildren. The family of his daughter Sarah Eilers includes husband Steve, and sons Gabriel and Rowan. The family of his son, Bruce Johnson, includes his wife Caryn, daughter Erinn, and son Ethan.
Larry was born and grew up in Gillette, was active in high school football and basketball, and attended college at the University of Wyoming. In 1958, he joined the United States Navy and after five years of service, he returned home where he met the love of his life, Elizabeth. After marrying in Massachusetts on September 22nd 1962, they returned to Gillette and soon welcomed the arrival of their son Bruce. Larry then "re-upped" in the Navy and spent the next 16 years of his life raising his children, exploring the world and its cultures and eventually rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. After an honorable retirement from the Navy, in 1978, he returned to Sheridan where many of his family members resided.
Larry loved all of the Wyoming outdoors, but especially enjoyed taking care of his pets, gardens and of course, poking fun with his loved ones and friends. Larry’s constant companion in recent years was his dog Maggie, who was a neighborhood favorite with everyone they met during their daily walks. Larry saw the birth of his daughter’s two sons in recent years, and celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary last year with his beloved wife Elizabeth, family and friends.
Larry fought Multiple Sclerosis courageously throughout the rest of his life, never losing his sense of humor, and showing the strength of character that all who knew him admired and loved.
Funeral service will be 2:00pm on Monday (July 22nd) from First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Douglas Goodwin officiating. Interment will be in Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD on Tuesday. Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.
Memorial donations may be made in Larry’s memory to the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, 84 E. Ridge Rd., Sheridan, WY 82801. (307) 674-7694