Dr. L.A. Johnson

Leon A. Johnson1Oct. 23, 1925 – Feb. 23, 2014

Dr. L.A. Johnson, 88, died Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, at South Big Horn County Critical Access Hospital between Greybull and Basin, Wyo., following a short illness.

Dr. Johnson, known as “Doc” to his family and friends, was born Oct. 23, 1925, at Kane, Wyo., to Clarence and Marie Weaver.  Adopted as a young child, he was reared in Kansas by Dr. O.S. and Lucille Johnson.

Dr. Johnson attended Campion Academy, a Seventh Day Adventist boarding school, as a boy.  He left school and lied about his age to join the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He married Ardis May Rasmussen, a Campion classmate, in 1947, following his discharge from the service.  He returned to school and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.

In 1956, Dr. and Mrs. Johnson moved to Cody, where they reared their daughters, Cynthia Johnson Weed (Bill) and Linda Bean (Greg) and ran an optometry practice.

As a young man, Dr. Johnson served in a number of civic positions, including the local cemetery commission and Cody School Board.

He was an active member of the Cody Elks Lodge and Lions’ Club.  Doc’s passion, though, was flying.  He was a founding member of the Buffalo Bill Flying Club and used his pilot’s license to fly search and rescue, volunteer medical transport and assure that both friends and strangers were safely delivered to their destinations.

Doc loved Wyoming and found great joy in exploring its wildest corners. He fished and hunted throughout the Western states, Canada and Alaska, and was never happier than when he was outdoors.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ardie, his granddaughter, Elizabeth Anne Weed, his grandson, U.S. Army Sgt. Coleman S. Bean and his longtime companion, Bonnie J. Kelly.

He is survived by his daughters, his granddaughter Rebecca Weed, grandsons Nathan Weed (Amy), Mat Weed (Stephanie), Nick Strickland and Padraic Bean (Kim), and four great-grandchildren, Alexander, Dexter and Madeline Weed and Aubrey Bean.  Survivors also include his sisters, Jeanne and Louise, and his brother, Jack.

A memorial service will be held this spring in Cody.  Memorial contributions in Doc’s name will be received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426 and will go to the Big Horn County Senior Citizens Center, 417 S. Second St., Greybull, Wyo.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. assisted the family with arrangements.