(Nov. 10, 2008)
After a long battle with leukemia, and eventually a stroke, Larry D. Johnson passed away with family at his side on Monday night, Nov. 10, at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings. He was 69 years old.
Larry was a fixture in the oilfields of Wyoming, both in Midwest, where he got his start, and then in the Big Horn Basin. For those who have worked with Larry and knew him well, they know that we will be missing a big man with an even bigger heart full of compassion. According to those who knew him, he would never ask anybody to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself, and he was quick to offer help to those who needed it.
He was born on Sep. 16, 1939, to Theodore and Laura Johnson in Ettrick, Wis., and was raised on a farm in Blair, Wis. He was the ninth of 10 children and times were hard, but he maintained close ties to his family.
After graduating from high school, Larry moved to Midwest, where his older sister lived. There he got his start in the oilfields, and he also met his wife, Alice Faye Corum. They were married on June 23, 1959, in Midwest. They had two children while living in Midwest, Rick and Tami.
They later moved to Powell where he continued in the oilfields, working on service units for K & T. He then started his own well service company, J & R Well Service, in 1972. Larry was hard worker — he felt identified by his work and instilled that same work ethic in those around him. He sold J & R Well Service in Nov. 2000, but he remained active in the company for several years before finally retiring from that business. He owned a trucking company, L.J. Trucking, that he also managed during those years, and he continue to be involved with it up to the time of his death.
In his spare time, he enjoyed truck pulling, and he made many friends traveling around the country competing with his truck, known as “Ol’ Rig.” He enjoyed this activity with his family, and, eventually, there were three generations of Johnsons competing together.
Larry is survived by his wife, Alice of Powell; son Rick (Colleen) Johnson of Powell; daughter Tami Johnson of Boulder, Colo.; granddaughters Tanna Faye Mittlieder and Tawny Faye Mittlieder of Powell; grandsons Kory Donald Johnson and Randy Donald Johnson of Powell; sisters Amy (Fritz) Underwood and Virginia Kolb; brother Lawrence Robert (Iris) Johnson; sister-in-law Clara Mae Johnson; brothers-in-law Floyd Charles Corum and Dr. Marc Shampoo; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog Snuggles.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Tilford, Kenneth, and Norman; and his sisters Verna, Marilyn, Lila.
Cremation has taken place and there will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov.14, at the Nelson Performing Arts Center (Northwest College Auditorium) located on the NWC Campus on Sixth Street in Powell. Reverend Doctor William Spencer of Hope Lutheran Church will perform the service, and burial will take place at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the charity of one’s choice.