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Laurence V. "Larry" Johnson


1924 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Laurence V. "Larry" Johnson Obituary
Laurence V. "Larry" Johnson Laurence V. "Larry" Johnson, May 4, 1924 - January 5, 2019, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. After showing great academic promise in high school he joined the Air Corp after graduation and became a pilot during WWII. He didn't see combat but loved telling tales of his flying adventures, especially into the Grand Canyon. After the war he graduated from the College of William and Mary where he met his wife, Penny, in the registration line. After they married they moved to Champagne, IL, where he received a Master's Degree in Economics with highest honors. He went on to have a very successful career as Director of Marketing for several Fortune 500 companies such as Pepperidge Farm and Hunt Wesson Foods. In 1970 he settled in Prairie Village, KS and worked for Farmland Foods, Interstate Brands, Barachman Advertising and H&R Block. He ended his career doing what he loved best - teaching. He was a professor at the William Allen White School of Journalism at The University of Kansas until his retirement. He was nominated for the prestigious HOPE award nearly every year and kept in touch with many of his students 30 years later. He and Penny retired to Florida and enjoyed golf and travel until Penny's death. He then moved to Colorado and continued to travel internationally into his 90s and was an avid Jayhawk basketball fan. He leaves behind two children, son Eric (Flora) of Imperial Beach, CA and daughter Judy Johnson Becerra (John) of Parker, CO, and grandchildren Lesley and Heather Johnson and Bradley Johnson Becerra. He is preceded in death by wife Estill (Penny), son, Steven and granddaughter, Grace. May his legacy of kindness and integrity, with a hearty side of humor, live on in all who had the privilege of knowing him. Memorial donations may be made to KU Endowment in support of the School of Journalism, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or give online at http://www.kuendowment.org/givenow
Published in Kansas City Star on Jan. 13, 2019
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