Lawrence “Larry” Walker Johnston
October 7, 1955 – May 21, 2019
Beloved son of Iris and Harry (deceased) Johnston, loving brother of Jay (Susan) and Bruce (deceased), cherished husband of Ailsa Hanson. Son-in-law of Ken and Jean (deceased) Hanson, brother-in-law to Ron Hanson and Lesley (Rodney) Tennant. Uncle to Heather (Joe), Eric, Caroline (Jamie), Alison (George), Jane (Tim), Miriam and Rosalind.
Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Larry moved to Toronto to pursue his MA and PhD in political science at the University of Toronto. He taught at U. Of T.’s Scarborough Campus and at Ryerson, and wrote and co-authored several introductory political science texts. He was then employed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the Legislative Research Service.
Larry said that music was his ‘avocation’ and he spent 25 years as organist and choir director at Westway United Church in Etobicoke.
He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1999 but refused to let his disease define him or dictate how we live his remaining years. He continued to work, but decided that when he retired he wanted to return to Northern Ontario. The family moved to Richards Landing on St. Joseph Island near the Sault in 2007. After surgery in 2012, Larry retired from full-time employment at the Legislature, but about a year later was back on contract, working remotely at a job he loved.
He also became very active with the St. Joseph Island Pastoral Charge, singing in the choir and filling in as organist and choir director as well as serving on various committees.
Larry was an avid photographer, reader, gardener, hiker and cyclist. He lived with great courage, integrity, honesty and compassion, and will be dearly missed.
Sincere thanks to family and friends for your love and support throughout the last difficult weeks of Larry’s life.
A Memorial Service will be held at Westway United Church, 8 Templar Drive, Etobicoke on Monday, May 27th, 2019 at 11am. A service of remembrance will be held at a future date on the Island. Gifts to a charity of your choice in Larry’s memory would be deeply appreciated.
Please visit our Book of Memories at www.wardfuneralhome.com