Larry Johnston

Obituary of Larry Eugene Johnston

Larry Eugene Johnston, 82, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2021 at home in Oakton, Va.


Larry was born in Clarksburg, W.V., on April 20, 1939. He graduated from Roosevelt-Wilson High School in 1957. Subsequent education included West Virginia University, The Winona School of Professional Photography and the Nikon School of Photography. He apprenticed at Buffington Studios with its founder and began his lifelong career as a photographer. Memberships included the Photographic Society of America and Professional Photographers of America.


In 1961, he moved to Washington, D.C., and worked at several companies as a photographer over the years: Page Communications, Bell Labs, John I. Thompson & Company, and Potomac Research. He also served in the U.S. Army in the photographic division at the Pentagon for a couple of years during the Vietnam War. Photography was his passion outside of work, too, but he also loved travel, the great outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and enjoyed collecting all kinds of things. He was an excellent executive and started three businesses over the years: an import-export enterprise, a gift shop, and an antiques shop, which allowed him outlets for travel and collecting. Perhaps most of all, he enjoyed people—his friends and family, and meeting new people, hearing where they’re from, all about their lives, and what they did. Later he partnered with his wife Marcella, a graphic designer, to run a fourth business in 1986—a creative services company, Spectrum Publishing. This was a perfect focus for his photography expertise and his creativity, and he had a big impact on the firm. He retired in 1992 and took off to travel the American West for about three months—a photographer’s dream. He received recognition and many awards for his photography and for his creative advertising campaigns.


Larry is survived by his wife, Marcella Drula-Johnston; son Wesley A. Montgomery (Karen); grandson Joshua Johnston (Jennifer); grandson Nathan Montgomery (Mackenzie); granddaughter Nicole Montgomery; great grandsons Bryson, Dominic, and Silas Johnston; sister-in-law Patricia Davis; brother-in-law Paul Drula; nephews Matthew Feinberg (Jill), Michael Feinberg (Ashley), Anthony Drula, and Nicholas Drula (Alexis); nieces Christine Bond and Rebecca Seibert (Michael); great nephew Nixon Drula; great niece Skyler Drula; cousins Sharyn McGahan, Lynda Trickett, Ronald Lee Baker, Edward “Sonny” Johnston, and Susan Mick; and other extended family members. He is also survived by his goddaughters Samantha Whitney and Erika Isaacoff and many loved friends who will miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hartzel E. Johnston and Berneice L. Cottrill; younger brother, Rodney Brent Johnston; son Randall A. Johnston; sister-in-law Nancy Bond; nephew James W. Bond III; and other extended family members.


A memorial service will be held at a later date when the COVID-19 pandemic conditions are deemed safe enough to do so.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Larry
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Direct Cremation Svcs of VA - Chantilly
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