1/18/58 – 8/28/19
Gary Johnson died peacefully in his sleep while on a family vacation in Maui, Hawaii two years and three months after first being diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) and ALS. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 32 years Eleanor Johnson, daughter Katie Kopach, son-in-law Rayce Kopach, his brother Randy Johnson, their families and his extended group of friends.
Gary was always known for his big smile, passion for life, and lovable gift to turn any stranger into a friend. He loved to tell stories and make people happy around him. He was the life of every party and had the most contagious happy go lucky attitude. Gary grew up in Ballard, Washington, graduating from Ingraham High School and the University of Washington. He worked as the Sales Manager for Capital Industries in Seattle, WA for 28 years, where he enjoyed interacting with his customers and colleagues. Gary always led a joyful and balanced life, making time for his passions of golf, skiing, Huskies, Seahawks, Mariners, world travel, good music, and a great glass of wine. Above all, Gary was a devoted husband and father who loved nothing more than being with his family. He adored his only daughter Katie; volunteering as her softball coach and swim team starter in her youth and being the confidante and best friend she talked to every day, even after moving to Arizona.
The last two years of FTD/ALS progression had been a challenge, but one that Gary took on with his usual optimism. The family motto was to “choose joy” by finding opportunities for adventure and by not being afraid to laugh. We are grateful for the many friends and family who spent time with Gary during this journey to heaven and for his loyal caregiver Lawrence Thuku who took such good care of him while always keeping him laughing. Gary leaves behind inspiration for us to live a little bit more like he did: happy, full of life and humor and with kindness, generosity and love for those around him.
A Celebration of Life will be held on
October 4th, 2019 at 4 PM at:
The Plateau Club 25625 E. Plateau Drive, Sammamish 98074 Aloha attire requested!
Donations in Gary’s honor are gratefully appreciated to either: The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration https://www.theaftd.org/support-aftds-mission/or to
Make-A-Wish Arizona https://arizona.wish.org/