Ryan Johnson: 1972 – 2014

Ryan Christopher Johnson died Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. He was 41.

A celebration will be held Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m., at the Three Rivers Memorial Building to honor Ryan’s time with those who will miss him.

Ryan was born April 13, 1972, in Three Rivers to Bobby Dwayne and Kathleen Anne Johnson. He was an alumnus of Three Rivers Union School (1986), Mt. Whitney High (1990) in Visalia, USC in Los Angeles, and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, where he received his BS degree in Architecture.

Ryan grew up in Three Rivers, was a local Boy Scout, and fed his science curiosities in the hills of home.

Ryan found music via Mary Harris, Dottie Zander, and his grandma, Jean Darsey. He formed his first band with John McKellar in the youth-pastor’s trailer, calling themselves “Cunningham Trailer.”

Ryan left New York City for Boston after graduation (1996) to play music with his cousin, Tyson Leonard, and Sarah Scarlotta, who were both students at the Berklee College of Music. His cousin, Grant Leonard, joined the trio in Boston, and they formed the band “Glider.”

Glider returned to the West Coast, settling in communities around San Luis Obispo. The band morphed to “Rain Fur Rent,” which included Travis Warren, then evolved to “Tropo,” a band of brothers recognized on the California music scene.

Ryan was also half of the “Alabaster Stone” duo with Michele Kubaki celebrating acoustic harmonies of many Ry original songs.

Ryan’s love of music brought him to songwriting, the piano, guitar, bass, pedal steel, and finding his voice. Music was his passion, although he also worked in architecture and with Associated Backflow Services in Los Osos over the years.

Ryan was preceded in death by his father, Bobby Johnson; grandparents Cayce and Jean Darsey and Ted and Lil Johnson; and his uncle, Kevin Darsey.

He leaves his loving partner, Paige Wyatt of Arroyo Grande; his mother, Kathleen Johnson of Twentynine Palms; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Kari Boozer (Doug) of Visalia, Erin Haston (Steve) of Visalia, Dana Gilbert of Visalia, and Diane Cortez (Leo) of Oxnard; aunts Sheila Darsey of Pahoa, Hawaii, and Susan Darsey (Ed) of Three Rivers; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and loving friends.

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