David L. Johnson Sr., 73, of Brunswick, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 3, 2021.
He was born on February 3, 1948 in Bloomsburg to James and Josephine Johnson.
David was the typical curious boy of his teenage years, active in scouts, hunting, fishing, and various youth sports. It was during a football scrum his final year in high school where he got a glimpse of the love of his life. David went to Lycoming College, on a full wrestling scholarship, where he became the MASCAC wrestling champion in 1967 in the 152-pound weight class for the Warriors. While in college, a classmate of David introduced him to Nancy Harris. Nancy was a childhood friend of David’s classmate. Finally, that quick glimpse on a soccer field a few years ago became a deep look in their eyes knowing they had seen each other before. Dad often said that the next weekend he came home to tell his mother that he had found the woman he was going to marry. David graduated from Lycoming with a degree in biological education and married Nancy shortly thereafter in 1970. David taught high school biology for a few years until his first child entered the newly married couple’s world. married. David felt that it was necessary to generate more income to support a family than what a teacher’s salary provided at the time. He had the opportunity to run a chemistry lab as a supervisor at GTE Sylvania in Montoursville, Pa., Where the blue dot flashcube for cameras was manufactured. Hence the start of a vast career in the lighting industry. When flashcube technology was replaced, David moved his family to Northeast Ohio to become a commercial engineer in industrial / commercial lighting. David has spent 30 years in the lighting industry, working for various companies in various roles. The lighting industry has presented many opportunities to David. He was president of the Cleveland chapter of the Illuminating Engineer Society (IES). David has also served as a Lighting Ambassador and represented the United States at a global conference to bring conversations about energy conservation to a global scale where he had the opportunity to speak and travel in Canada, Japan and China. Although this jet setter seemed to be bigger than the world, he loved being local. One of his favorite opportunities was when he worked for Wolff Brothers Supply, Inc. as a Cleveland branch manager. When the economy fell in 2008, David found himself without a job. Not ready to retire, he took a few more college courses and was certified to teach again; but now in the state of Ohio. He began teaching by substitution until an opportunity for a long-term sub-role presented itself at Medina High School. After a few years, this long-term sub-role evolved into a permanent role of Professor of Biology for MHS. David had a passion for teaching students, especially in this age group. The students loved Dr. J, the name he was known by at MHS. Dr J could connect with his students. When students had trouble with homework, he wanted to know why, and he listened to what they had to say. Through advice and often unrelated to the school, he provided them with advice. Each year he took a day of his biology classes and taught the students integrity. Many of his former students have told David’s family that this particular class has had an impact on their lives. The recurring theme of his students is the relay. “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking. “
David was a dedicated family man. Whatever his wife wanted he would provide. He was married to Nancy for 49 years before she preceded him. He supported his children in all of their activities while teaching them important life lessons. He provided the means and resources for all their dreams and endeavors. David’s faith was a major contribution to the development of this family culture. A long-time member of Grace Baptist Church, he enjoyed ministering to the men in the Haven of Rest program as well as the prison ministry at the Lorain County Correctional Facility. In David’s later years he enjoyed summer gardening as well as fishing with his two grandsons. In the fall and winter he also enjoyed hunting and woodworking with them. David could make friends with anyone and everyone, no matter what event or occasion. David has impacted so many lives – childhood friends, college teammates / fraternity brothers / classmates, private sector colleagues and employees, students, teachers, school staff, friends and neighbors. His legacy will not be forgotten.
David is survived by his son, Dave Jr .; his daughter, Leslie; his two grandsons, Adrian and Anthony; and his older brother, Jim. He was predeceased by his parents, Joséphine and James, his wife, Nancy.
David’s life will be celebrated on Thursday December 9 at Grace Baptist Church, 3480 Laurel Rd. Brunswick, OH 44212.
Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with a following memorial service at 11 a.m.
Those who cannot attend in person can view the memorial service via Livestream by logging on to www.gbcheartline.org and selecting watch live.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in David’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolences and memories of David can be left at www.WaiteFuneralHome.com.