Thursday, April 9, 2015
Larry Johnson (1938 - 2014)
Larry L. Johnson, 76, of Jackson, MS, a residential real estate developer, founder of The Landmark Companies, and oil and gas investor died on Tuesday at his residence after his recent onset of cancer.
Services will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at eleven o'clock at Parkway Funeral Home on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from four to six o'clock and Thursday at ten o'clock prior to the services at Parkway Funeral Home.
Johnson was born on March 3, 1938, in Baldwyn, MS to Alleene and E.L. "Swede" Johnson. Much of his youth was spent living in Baldwyn with brief stints in Nashville, TN and Philadelphia, PA. During his days as a Baldwyn Bearcat, he was a three-sport star; earning All-Conference honors in all three sports his senior year. From a young age, he displayed an independent, industrious business spirit which served as a basis for his future successes. His youthful business ventures included, but were not limited to, operating a Baldwyn dairy bar during summer vacations. Much of his business acumen was taught by his mother, Alleene, who ran the local florist shop as well as his maternal grandfather Hugh Epting, a long time Baldwyn merchant.
Upon graduation from high school, he attended the University of Mississippi where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and then a Degree of Laws. While at Ole Miss, he made many lifelong friends. During this time, he learned and crafted the finer aspects of golf and playing cards, specifically poker and gin rummy. These crafts would educate him on the importance to attention, detail and "risk versus reward" concepts.
After graduation, Larry moved to Jackson where he began his career in the booming oil and gas industry. There were many colorful individuals and exciting deals to be struck in this trade. The excitement of creating and selling the deal was always very enjoyable to Johnson. Many deals and lasting friendships were made at the Petroleum Club in those days. Even to this day, with the volatility of the oil industry over the years, he has remained an active investor and producer, playing a major role in the development of successful oil and gas ventures in Mississippi and Alabama.
During this same time period, Larry partnered with Bill McGuffee, his father in law, to create Landmark Homes, often just building a few speculative homes each year. Probably not realizing it at that time, this joint venture would become the precursor to Johnson becoming one of the most successful residential (both single and multifamily housing) developers, constructors, and owners in the Southeast. Over the last twenty-five years, Mr. Johnson played a major role in the development of 3,000 single family lots, built over 750 homes, and the development and construction of 5,000 apartments. These projects are located in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. For all his success in these projects, by far, his greatest achievement was the ability to do so in partnership with his son, Michael Johnson.
Later in life, philanthropy became important to Mr. Johnson. He was the sole benefactor, supporting further education at Ole Miss for five Baldwyn High School graduates. Furthermore, he established and funded a charitable foundation that will live on supporting many worthwhile causes on his behalf.
Mr. Johnson married Rebecca "Becky" Wells in August of 2013. They found a kindred spirit in each other. The memories of their many trips and family events will live on forever. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Michael Johnson, and his wife, Lisa, of Jackson. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Hugh Johnson and his wife, Dixie, of Germantown, TN, along with their two children, his nephews, Allen and Quin.
The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to all the family and friends who have supported him over these past months. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation of their support, especially that of Cindy.
He will be sorely missed. Life is an occasion - Larry Johnson rose up courageously and with gentlemanly honor to its opportunities and challenges. While he has departed this earth, his worldly impact on his many friends and family will never be forgotten. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/clarionledger/obituary.aspx?pid=172812883#sthash.7kVHHFle.dpuf
Posted by Carl Houston at 8:51 AM