Lars Johnson, born and raised in Alaska, died August 23rd in Salem, Oregon. Lars grew up in rural Alaska and Anchorage. He lived and worked in communities that included Yakatat, Unalakleet, McGrath, Juneau and Homer. He worked in a variety of positions: construction, the Alaska Pipeline, as a police officer
, and in security management. He spent many years living and working in Oregon state, as well.
His undergraduate degree was in Criminology. In addition to his bachelors degree he had accrued graduate hours in counseling. Lars was a passionate meteorologist and storm enthusiast. He was an avid reader. His friends enjoyed many hours of cribbage, the card game Spite and Malice, and great conversation with Lars. He was a wonderful teller of stories -- some of them tall, all of them true.
Lars is preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents, Lars and Doris Johnson; and his sister, Jennifer. He is survived by his sister, Jonna Laster and her family of Juneau; and by his son, David and
grandchild; as well as cousins and extended family in Alaska and Florida.
He was fortunate to be surrounded by a family of friends. Terry and Allison McWhirter were held in great esteem by their chosen brother, as were Matt Hewitt, and Jerry Ferrier. Friends who gathered at a memorial service held at Kingwood Bible Church in Salem, Oregon knew Lars well and recounted his words of encouragement, a wry sense of humor, and the ability to engage in deep discussion. Bible group members talked about Lars' knowledge and understanding of scripture. Lars was also noted for his keen interest in scientific inquiry, especially in the areas of space exploration and the environment. Close friends talked about Lars' pleasure in life, his love of his cat, Boo, and his capacity to care for others.
Lars Johnson was a Viking of a man who, regardless of whatever pain or misfortune he was experiencing, was always ready with a beautiful smile and an uproarious laugh. Lars will be missed.