9/19/95 - 1/15/18

A friend once said,

“Wherever Josie is, won’t be boring.”


Johanna Larson was remarkable, chaotic, fun, ingenious. Purple hair one month, red, or blue the next. Sadly, Josie was also an addict, and ill.


Adopted at birth. Josie suffered drug damage in utero. From her earliest days, her powerful brain tumbled and raced.


She began using drugs in middle school. She pawned her mother’s wedding ring. She robbed her grandfather’s bank account.


And, she fought for sobriety. Bravely. Repeatedly. During sober stretches, she could be kind, joyful, and stunningly beautiful.  She loved special needs children and dogs.


She got sober when she got pregnant, and stayed sober until she was finished breast feeding her baby. She loved her son, and protected him as best she could. And, she struggled.


In the end, mental illness lay at the bottom of Josie’s journey. She refused treatment for years. Her mood swings were extreme. When she got angry, bombs went off.


One night, following a fight with a boyfriend, the bombs went off. His loaded gun was available. She pulled the trigger. She was gone - from her baby, from all of us who loved her - forever.


Josie, we miss you so, so much.


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