Light of Hope for Hospice Care
Finding peace and joy in every adventure.
For 36 years, CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care has been honored to provide compassionate end-of-life care for patients – no matter where they call home. As part of our commitment and dedication to serve through our ministry, we also play a pivotal role in supporting the patient’s family and caregivers throughout their hospice care journey.
As we enter this holiday season, we are grateful to partner with another of our special families to share their hospice experience. This year we honor David “Larry” Johnson, a longtime resident with a “huge” sense of humor who knew everyone and enjoyed life to the fullest.
Larry’s first adventure was patriotic. He joined the US Army and served with distinction, receiving two Army Commendation Medals for heroism and, as a Sergeant, earned two medals in one day. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry when he returned home.
Back in Minnesota in the early 1970s, Larry vowed to serve and protect as a police officer with the Park Rapids Police Department and Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office. Larry retired as Sheriff in January 1999, but didn’t sit long. Boredom set in and he started a new adventure as a United Nations Peacekeeper, deploying to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 18 months.
Larry was happy to fulfill his duties there and returned home eager to enjoy his many hobbies. His love for his family and the outdoors were calling and many meaningful moments were spent riding on his ranger, golfing, hunting, telling stories with friends, and being with his best canine friend, Molly. His fun, competitive side showed when Larry sang to his plants during tomato growing wars with his daughter.
In January 2021, Larry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He fought hard with a strong love of life and will to live. His aggressive treatments helped to tackle the cancer, but also took a toll on his heart.
Larry lived each day to the fullest before falling ill unexpectedly with congestive heart failure and passing away on September 25, 2022, with his daughter Jill and dog, Molly, by his side. Jill shared that Larry had gone out bow hunting in early September and how happy he was to be outdoors doing what brought him joy.
The word joy was shared by Larry over and over in his last days. JOY was the feeling Larry wanted to embrace before passing into a new chapter in his life. To him, it meant laughter, smiles, story sharing, making memories with family and friends…
Larry cherished time with children Jill Christenson, JoLynn Johnson, and Buck Johnson along with many eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Larry also enjoyed his visits from the hospice care team and was fond of the conversations and stories shared.
Jill and JoLynn expressed their appreciation for the comfort and guidance hospice provided during a time when they wished life would stand still.
“The care team was a lifesaver for us. They were all so wonderful, patient, welcoming and provided relief in a hard time. We felt comfortable asking questions and they took control when we needed their help the most,” said Jill.
“We were always kept in the loop, which gave us comfort during the times we couldn’t be with dad. We were more prepared and allowed dad to be at home, where he wanted to be,” said JoLynn.
Community tree lighting.
Join us as we celebrate and remember loved ones during the Heartland Lakes Community Tree Lighting ceremony on November 24, 2023. Held in downtown Park Rapids, the ceremony will begin at 6pm to honor loved ones. You can also join us virtually on our Facebook page or the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce website at parkrapids.com.
We also invite you to place an unbreakable ornament on the memory tree, which will be located in Pioneer Park on Main Street, in honor or in memory of a loved one this holiday season.
Larry with grandkids; Jordyn, Jake and Allyson.
Larry with grandson, Jack Christenson.
Light of Hope
You can honor your friends and loved ones by supporting CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care this holiday season.
Your donation of $25 or more will help provide transformational care now and for years to come. Thank you for shining your light with others. To contact CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care, please call 218-732-4552.
Contact information for CHI St. Joseph's Health, CHI St. Joseph's Health Community Dental Clinic, Hospice Care, Community Health, Physical Rehabilitation and Fitness Center, and Weight Management Center. Click here
Thank you for exploring potential career opportunities at CHI St. Joseph's Health! We invite you to share in our mission of providing compassionate care to the communities we serve while promoting our core values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence in our healing ministry. Click here
Thank you for taking the time to support CHI St. Joseph's Health. Click here to make a difference!
Pay your bill online! Click here