In August 2009, the Pennsylvania track and field community lost Norm Crawford. Last week, it was his fellow officiating icon, Len Johnson.

Johnson, 67, of sewickley, died May 16 at The Good Samaritan Hospice House in Wexford. He started officiating after graduating from Michigan State University while living and working in Michigan and Illinois in computer sales and service for companies such as Hewlett Packard and IBM before moving back to western Pennsylvania.

PIAA TRACK LEGENDS—Leonard Johnson, left, is shown with Norm Crawford, who died last summer.

He started his own business, Bidwell Technical Services, and was a tech person for the Alma Illery Health Center in Homewood.

He was a graduate of New Castle High School where he starred in track, winning the PIAA State 100-yard championship in 1959.

Johnson was elected to the Lawrence County Hall of Fame in 1988. He was Rules Interpretor for the Fort Pitt Chapter of PIAA Track and Field Officials and started many major high school and college invitationals and conference meets in the area, including the WPIAL District 7 and Pittsburgh Public Schools City League District 8 Championships/Finals.

He was a member of Triumph Baptist Church and the Pittsburgh Rotary.

The viewing was May 21 at Richard D. Cole Funeral Home in sewickley. Services were held May 22 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Memorial contributions may be made to The Good Samaritan Hospice House, 3500 Brooktree Rd., Wexford, Pa. 15090; or The Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, 5432 Butler St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15201.

(Reprinted from

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