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David

David “Dave” William Johnson

David “Dave” William Johnson, 82, of Amarillo, Texas passed away on April 2, 2024.

Services will be at 11:00 am, Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Valleyview Church of the Nazarene in Amarillo, Texas. There will be a visitation with the family on Friday evening, April 5, from 5:30 – 7:30 at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home in Amarillo. Burial will be at a later date at Forest Park East Cemetery in Webster, Texas. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, Amarillo, Texas.

Dave was born in Alvin, Texas on January 21, 1942 to Earl Spencer and Sybil (Davidson) Johnson. He graduated from Clear Creek High School in 1960 and was a proud Fightin’ Texas Aggie, graduating from Texas A&M College, Class of 1964. Dave grew up in League City, Texas, the middle of five children – four brothers and a baby sister. When their mama would introduce the kids and reach David, he would inevitably interrupt her with, “And I’m David, the middle child!” And he lived up to the title in every way. He was definitely the jokester of the four boys with the best sense of humor, and he had a gift for picking on people but always making them laugh about it. From catching a raccoon with Galen in an ill-conceived attempt to make their own coonskin cap like Davy Crockett’s (and hiding the inevitable raccoon bite from their parents) to sneaking into oldest brother Phillip’s dorm room at Texas A&M just so he could get out of the corp barracks and catch some peaceful sleep, there’s hardly a story about David growing up that doesn’t involve his brothers.

He met his wife of 56 years, Doloris Marie “Toodie” (Patterson) Johnson in El Paso, Texas in 1965. They met while both worked at Peyton Packing Co. Dave was in charge of the plant floor, and Marie worked in data processing. Dave, however, kept finding reasons to leave the floor, with pressing issues about why he needed to come and see Marie in the data processing center. The rest, as they say, is history.

From Peyton’s plant floor, Dave became a “cattle buyer.” The rest of his professional career was in cattle procurement in the beef packing industry. He traveled to feed yards and ranches evaluating cattle for four decades across the central and southwest U.S. He loved the freedom of working away from an office and enjoyed the personal relationships he built with the people in all of the different locales.

While living in the El Paso area, Dave and Marie welcomed their first son, Will, in 1969, followed by Shawn in 1972. They lived briefly in Lubbock until they made a final move to Canyon/Amarillo in 1974, where they raised their boys and have lived in the same house for the past 50 years.

Dave retired from National Beef Packing in 2008 and began what can only be described as a full-time job of service to others. He had an enormous heart, as evidenced by the many mowed lawns, tended trees, and countless handyman chores he did for friends, neighbors, and his church alike over the years. Never one to stay idle, Dave and a friend started a small cow/calf operation “to give him something to go do early in the morning.” But, come most afternoons, you could find Dave with his friend Joe Reed working on all things maintenance-related at their church. The two were easy to locate on the property as one would only need to follow the sound of their laughter. On two separate occasions, the two had to dig a hole to work on the irrigation system. On both occasions, both men ended up in the hole with no way out. Each time, Dave’s grandson David rescued them. But both times, David had to wait for the laughter to subside long enough to actually get the two out of the hole. Dave and Joe enjoyed being able to complete projects around the church but more greatly enjoyed the fellowship with each other. Dave’s first outing from home after his second surgery was to attend Joe’s funeral service and tell his friend goodbye.

Dave had a wonderful sense of humor and was an insufferable flirt. He was clever and full of knowledge gained through his life experiences. He could fix most anything, make beautiful wood- and metal-work pieces, and wow you with his very remedial grasp of the Spanish language, most of which he picked up at the packing house in El Paso and the feedyards of the Texas panhandle and beyond. Most recently, he used his Spanish skills to teach his favorite home healthcare provider, Paula. She would tell him to do an exercise, and he would tell her a new word to learn—a rascal right to the very end.

But the greatest evidence of Dave’s love can be seen in the light of his grandchildren as they recall stories of their “G’Pa”: the sneaky after-school popsicles and fro-yo, 3:30 pm “dinners,” early morning pancakes at McDonald’s, taking food to the beloved horse Gotcha in the backyard, and his personally innovated dinner table game of “quick look away when you look at me.” His grandsons will never forget being allowed to ride on the tailgate of his truck while G’Pa shoveled feed out to the cows in the pasture, but they’ll also remember how he aimed for every prairie dog mound so he could toss them about in the bed of the truck. His grandkids will forever be better people for having a G’Pa like him.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Sybil Johnson.

Survivors include his wife, Doloris “Marie” Johnson; his loyal and faithful sons, William “Will” John Johnson of Amarillo, Texas and his wife Cynthia, and Shawn Michael Johnson of Lubbock, Texas and his wife Ali; his grandchildren, Kristen Ashley (Johnson) Virgil and husband Chris, Spencer Michael Johnson, David Russell Johnson, and Elizabeth Ann Johnson; his great-grandchildren, Ashley Alexandra Wadel, and Ryley Lynn Virgil; his siblings, Phillip Johnson and wife Bobbie of Madisonville, Texas, Galen Johnson and wife Lynne of Corpus Christi, Texas, Jerry Johnson and wife Laverne of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Mary Lou “Sissy” (Johnson) Black and husband Pecos of Pinehurst, Texas; many beloved sisters-in-law (all of whom were his “favorite”); and numerous nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.

Dave fought for almost three years to stay by his “Ree’s” side. And although his earthly body could no longer sustain the fight, those of us who were loved by him know that he is finally fully healed and watching over us from Heaven. We look forward joyfully to the day we are reunited again.
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