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Laura B. Johnson

March 26, 1943 October 16, 2017
Laura B. Johnson
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Obituary for Laura B. Johnson

Her name was Laura Johnson but she was known to most everyone as "Gran." It was one of her proudest and most successful roles in life.

Born Laura Louise Beelman in New Orleans, La., on March 26, 1943, Gran died on Monday, Oct. 16, of complications from cancer. She was 74 and had lived in the Denver area for 40 years.

Laura was the beloved wife and partner of more than 50 years of Leon Johnson and the mother of four: Heather Johnson Hurst, Colleen Johnson Chatham, Lesly Johnson King and Jay Johnson. She was also a "mom" to her children's spouses, Aundrea Johnson, Kevin Chatham and Kevin King. She had seven grandchildren, many of whom she helped raise from the time they were born: Todd and Holly Hurst, Keegan and Kaden Chatham, and Hannah, Emma and Lola Johnson. In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by her sisters Barbara Beelman Vanderbrook of Little Elm, Tx., Virginia Beelman Dolsen of Slidell, La., and Maud Beelman of Dallas, Tx., as well as brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.

Laura was multifaceted and multi-talented and, above all, fun-loving. She was a voracious reader, gardener, hiker and outdoors explorer. She loved the quiet of doing puzzles and sewing as well as the roar of sporting events, cheering on her kids and grandkids through swim meets and soccer, hockey, lacrosse and softball games. She was a wonderful cook and learned at her grandmother's side how to crochet and needlepoint and later perfected the art of quilting, gracing many homes with the beauty of her handiwork. She was a crack gambler and enjoyed many fun evenings "up the hill" in Black Hawk with her husband and kids, usually winning more than she spent.

Laura was a natural care-giver and spent three decades working as a nurse, first at hospitals in the New Orleans area and then at Villa Manor nursing home in Lakewood. Her last job before retiring was as a services coordinator at Runyan Stevenson Mortuary.

She was a tough cookie with a soft heart, famous for words of wisdom such as "toughen up buttercup," "don't whine, do something," "stay mad 'til you get glad!" and "be a brave buckaroo." She was strong, selfless, loyal and genuine, and could always be counted on for an honest assessment of any situation. Shortly after meeting the man who years later would become one of her sons-in-law, Laura told him, "You know, I would be okay with you marrying my daughter."

Laura loved animals and leaves behind her dachshunds Belle and Kate, the latest in a long line of dogs she rescued and nurtured.

In lieu of flowers, well-wishers may make contributions to Hope for Animals Clear Creek Rescue at

To plant a tree in memory of Laura B. Johnson, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM 10/21/2017 2:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 10/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
The Chapel at Ellis Family Services

13436 West Arbor Place
Littleton, CO 80127

Celebration of Laura's life.

The Chapel at Ellis Family Services
13436 West Arbor Place Littleton 80127 CO
United States

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