Obituary: Lawrence Dale Johnston
Lawrence Dale Johnston
1930 - 2023
In loving memory of a life beautifully lived and a heart deeply cherished. On October 13, 2023, Lawrence Dale Johnston, affectionately known as Larry, passed away in Cottonwood, Arizona, at the age of 93.
Larry was not just a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, but a true patriot whose life was marked by extraordinary service and simple joys.
Born on March 25, 1930, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Kenneth and Lillian Johnston, Larry’s journey was shaped by values of duty and honor. He spent his formative years on the family farm, sharing his life with his 5 siblings.
At the age of 17, Larry answered the call of duty by enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps, which later became the U.S. Air Force. His service began in September 1947, taking him to basic training in San Antonio, Texas, before embarking on an overseas journey that would lead him to Guam and Japan, where he was attached to a Glider armament unit.
Throughout his distinguished career, Larry’s assignments took him to various corners of the world, including Tachikawa AFB in Japan, Mather AFB in California, Thule AFB in Greenland, Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Holloman AFB in New Mexico, and Oxnard AFB in California. His final tour of duty led him to Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taiwan, where he faithfully served until his retirement in 1967.
Even after retiring, Larry continued to honor his country’s call by dedicating two more decades to civil service with the United States Navy. One of his most cherished honors was his dedicated service to our nation’s Commander in Chief, President Ronald Reagan, as an Air Terminal Supervisor responsible for the operations of Air Force One at Point Mugu Naval Base.
For Larry, it was the simplest pleasures in life that brought the greatest joy. He relished sipping his morning coffee, reading the morning newspaper with his dogs on his lap, preparing delicious meals for his family, spending time with his beloved schnauzers, and sitting in the backyard while relaxing in nature, often accompanied by a spiced-up Bloody Mary or cold Coors Light.
Larry is survived by his devoted wife, Janice Johnston, his loving daughter, Sandra Peterson, and his cherished grandchildren: Dakota Johnston, Brittany Peterson, and Jasmine Schultz. He is also survived by his adored great-granddaughter, Juniper Schultz.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the VFW, Post 7400, at 705 Aspen St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.
A celebration of Larry’s remarkable life will be held at 10:00 am on November 25, 2023, at Westcott Funeral Home 1013 E Mingus Ave, Cottonwood, AZ 86326. The ceremony will be officiated by Pastor Paul Rutschow. Larry’s legacy of service and the warmth of his presence will be remembered and celebrated by all those whose lives he touched.
An online guestbook is available to sign at www.westcottfuneralhome.com .
Information provided by the funeral home.