Lonnie Dean Boesen

April 23, 1957 – Jan. 8, 2020

Lonnie Dean Boesen passed away on Jan. 8 in Northridge. Lonnie was born in Tacoma, Washington on April 23, 1957. He graduated from Washington High School in Tacoma in 1975. In high school, he played trumpet in the stage band and marching band, played sports, and participated in debates in his speech class. Then he attended Principia College, Elsah, Illinois, and graduated from there with a B.A. degree in political science in 1979. In addition, his studies at Principia College included music, having been influenced by his mother Verla Rae Jossy and grandmother Helen Palmer, who both played piano and organ professionally and in church. He also was on the cross-country team and a member in chamber singers and choir. 

He was engaged to his Principia College sweetheart and fellow chamber singer Jane (Johnson) Boesen, a native Californian. He moved out to Los Angeles upon graduation. They were married at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa, where Jane’s father Dr. Aldis A. Johnson was a member, on July 5, 1980.

Lonnie Dean worked in a variety of positions throughout Los Angeles. He was a camp counselor at the North Hollywood YMCA and a retirement plan administrator at the Holden Group in West Los Angeles. Then he obtained a multiple subject teaching credential at California State University, Northridge, receiving straight As in his coursework. After he received his teaching credential, he taught at Miller Elementary School in Burbank Unified School District. 

During the 1990s, he studied at the American Institute of Piano Technology in Los Angeles where he learned to rebuild and maintain pianos. In 1997, he earned the distinction of registered piano technician having passed written and practical exams in tuning, regulation and repairs. In March 2016, he became the piano technician at California State University, Northridge.

Lonnie was a life-long Christian Scientist who was very active in his church work at various branch churches of Christ, Scientist in the Los Angeles County area. He served as first reader twice and once as second reader. He also served in other capacities: executive board president, vice president and executive board member, Sunday school teacher, usher, and other church committee work. His Sunday school students always appreciated the way he taught the Bible stories as they would act out different Bible characters. He also served as chaplain in the Institutional work in the jail and prisons representing his church.

Lonnie grew up near the wilderness areas in Tacoma and Seattle and carried this love of nature into his California experience with his interest in the mountain and beach areas. He was an active athlete and was a runner and mountaineer. He was involved in the Sierra Club and he was an instructor in the WTC, Wilderness Travel Course, a mountaineering organization. At his peak, he climbed many mountains in the Sierra, Cascades and Rockies within a year. Although he embraced the natural environment of California, he was always a Washington state boy at heart inspired by growing up near Mt. Rainier, which he climbed twice.

Lonnie had a wonderful sense of humor. He would hum a tune and sing hymns and special songs. He would light up a room with his joy and love. He was an inspiring individual and leader and he expressed such calmness and peace. He always took a sincere interest in each of his piano technician clients, colleagues at his worksites, fellow church members, neighbors, friends and his loving family who adored him. He was dearly loved and will always be loved by all by all his family and friends.

He enjoyed many travels up and down the coast of California to his native state of Washington with his wife Jane to visit his family and friends. He liked traveling to many of the states in the United States of America and Canada learning about the history and culture of the areas.

He is survived by his wife Jane Boesen of Sunland; His father Ronald Niels; stepmother Shirley Boesen; stepsister Diana Nihem of University Place, Washington; brother Randy (Jodi) Boesen of Puyallup, Washington; sister Angela Jossy. Lonnie Dean was also survived by many, many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews who lived throughout his home state of Washington and various parts of California.

He was preceded in death by his mother Verla Rae Jossy of Tacoma and his brother David of Tacoma.

An interactive memorial tribute page for Lonnie, as well as a full list of survivors, can be found at www.CrippenMortuary.com.