Larry Gordon Johnson Dies; Longtime Resident was 79

Larry Gordon Johnson


Larry Gordon Johnson, whose family came to Sitka in 1957, died July 14, 2022, in Seattle, succumbing to injuries sustained when he was run over by a vehicle in Sitka on July 9. He was 79.

Larry was born on March 28, 1943, to Wes and Merna Johnson in Tacoma, Washington.

In 1952, Wes and Merna moved from Tacoma to Ketchikan, where Wes was working construction on the new pulp mill. Wes had to charter a Grumman Goose plane from Annette Island to Ketchikan to accommodate the Johnson tribe.

In 1957, the family moved to Sitka, where Wes continued to work in construction, on the Alaska Lumber and Pulp mill.

Larry’s primary work experiences included being a cook and skiff man on commercial fishing boats.  The skipper of the Myra said Larry was the best cook he ever had. Larry also was employed as a laborer.

Larry was a proud member of Sitka Moose Lodge #1350 as well as the American Legion. He enjoyed the camaraderie at the Moose Lodge and the American Legion, and the Pioneer Bar.  

Larry was extremely proud of his son Larry, daughter-in-law Lynessa and his grandson, Jesse James. He enjoyed visiting with them in Sitka as well as in Anchorage and Kenai. Larry particularly enjoyed being part of his brother Gary and Charlene Armstrong Johnson’s wedding on the Fourth of July, 2022, at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Siblings who preceded him in death  were Charlotte, Sonny, Edward, Billy and Peggy.

His siblings who survive him include Gary Johnson (Charlene) of Redding California, and Ruidoso, New Mexico; Richard  Johnson, Federal Way, Washington; Charley Johnson, Anchorage; and half-sister Janice Meabon (Dave), Sitka.

Larry also is survived by his sons, Frank Johnson of Salem, Oregon, and Larry Johnson, his daughter-in-law Lynessa and grandson, Jesse James of Kenai.

Numerous nephews and nieces throughout the state also survive.

The family expressed a special thank you to Moose member Julene Howard – Buddy Howard’s daughter – for volunteering to clean Larry’s apartment. Julene also organized a silent auction to assist the family with funeral expenses, on July 29 at the Moose Lodge. Julene also helped with donations to the Salvation Army.

A celebration of Larry’s life is being planned for July 2023 at the Moose Lodge.

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At a Glance

(updated 5-30-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:15 pm Tuesday, May 30.

New cases as of Tuesday: 165

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 298,078

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,468

Case Rate per 100,000 – 22.64

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 58.70

Cases in last 7 days – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,424

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






June 2003

Sitka Community Hospital board of directors has asked SEARHC to stop providing most health care services to non-beneficiary patients. “During the collaborative process SEARHC has said they’re happy to do anything they can do to help,” said SCH Administrator Bill Patten. “This is one of the things they can do – not provide services to non-beneficiaries.”



June 1973

What began 50 years ago in a Methodist parsonage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be celebrated Sunday in Sitka. Les and Caroline Yaw’s four children invite the couple’s many, many friends to attend a golden wedding anniversary reception at the Centennial Building.