Lawrence Randall Johnson
It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Lawrence (Larry) R. Johnson age 73 in Everett, Washington on April 23, 2023. Born in Everett on April 19, 1950 to Vernon M. & Marie M. (Kautzman) Johnson; Larry was the oldest of 8 children. Larry was a proud graduate of Cascade High School class of 1968 where he took college prep classes and received a varsity letter in swimming; breaststroke being his specialty. Larry went on to study mechanical engineering at Everett Community College; he was notably an excellent draftsman. As a child, Larry was very involved with the Boy Scouts to the point of becoming Assistant Scoutmaster for his local troop. He enjoyed backyard & neighborhood games and riding bikes. Helping his Dad work on family vehicles sparked his lifelong avid interest in cars. In August 1968 Larry met his life partner, Marles Rhoden of Snohomish; cruising Colby of course. They were married in January 1972. Together they welcomed their son, Matthew, into the world later that year. Larry is survived by his wife Marles, son Matt and siblings Denise, Greg, Sheri, Bryan & Leanne. Larry was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Glenn & Dale. In 1966 the Johnson family of 9 made a cross-country trip to the East coast. Larry spent much of the trip driving the family station wagon with 16ft travel trailer in-tow, so their Dad could attend a special 2 month class for the military. This family excursion triggered another lifelong passion, exploring the back roads of the USA with Marles. Larry started working in 1966 delivering flowers for Morris the Florist enabling him to buy his first car; a British Racing Green ’62 TR4. Continuing to work at a variety of jobs, the Triumph was followed by a Lt. Blue ’65 Dodge Coronet which he fully built into a mean racing machine. In 1970 he stepped up again buying his first Corvette; a Goodwood Green 1967 Roadster. This was followed by a variety of uniquely special cars & trucks. In the mid 80’s Larry purchased his second Corvette; a 1962 Roadster that desperately needed a lot of restoration. Sadly, he was not able to see the project to completion. Along with his interest in cars, Larry enjoyed motocross racing his Husqvarna and going “jeeping” in his ’73 Jeep CJ5 in Washington with brother Dale and in Idaho with good friend Don Donart. Larry’s greatest pleasure always involved activities with Matt such as alpine skiing, helping coach various sports, BMX racing & high school band. He also sparked Matt’s passion for automobiles & was always willing to offer a helping hand in Matt’s auto business. His work life was long and filled with a variety of jobs including stocking shelves at night at Albertson’s on Madison, cleaning up the mechanic’s shop at Klein Ford, Weyerhaeuser Mill B (11 years) and finally at GTE/Verizon (30 years). While attending ECC, Larry started working nights at Weyerhaeuser Everett on the Greenchain and ultimately was promoted to Export Timber Inspector. In 1979 Larry began his long term position at GTE as an Installation & Repair Technician. However, during a time of temporary layoffs at GTE he worked in various positions including an engineering draftsman, graphic arts layout, service order processing clerk and finally a billing rep handling the company’s Toll Pak program. After returning to his I&R Tech position, Larry was chosen to be on a select team of Verizon & Microsoft employees to Beta test the all new DSL system. Overall for his work at GTE/Verizon, he received the “Presidential Award for Excellence” and 2 times the “Ounce of Silver” medal. Larry was an active member in the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) both regionally & nationally; occasionally serving as a judge of various aspects of ‘67 & ’62 models. He was an early member of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky and has a brick in his honor placed near the original entrance to the museum. He also was a member of the local Highriders Northwest 4 wheel drive club. When asked of family and friends what they remember most about Larry, their responses were that he was a gentle giant, soft spoken & caring; a man of few words but always willing to help out any way he could. Larry was a great listener; always respectful of others and their opinions even if they differed from his. Larry will be missed by many immediate family members as well as 6 Nieces, 1 Nephew, Uncles Bob & Jack Kautzman, Aunt & Uncle (in-law) Gordon & Henrietta Johnson, “the Rhoden Cousins”, special friend Sharon Donart and their families. Larry was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) in 2016 while recovering from surgery after a bad fall on the front steps to our home. The progression of LBD can be a long & difficult journey; Larry worked hard for 7 years to be with us as long as he could. We will miss his presence but are so grateful to be a part of a great man’s life. In accordance with Larry’s wishes, cremains will be placed at Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Everett, Washington on May 23, 2023 at 2pm with an informal gathering. No reception following placement is planned. In lieu of flowers, we suggest donations be made in his memory to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at lbda.org. So long Larry – our loving Partner, Dad, Brother & Friend … until we meet again!