David Richard Johnson, 77, of Midland, passed away Thursday, July 11, 2013, at Stratford, Cambridge nursing facility. He was born in Detroit on March 14, 1936, to Walter and Dorothy (Wrobbel) Johnson. He was the eldest of three children, a brother, Gerald C. now living in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada; and a sister, Judith Ann Lambie who lived in Albquerque, N.M. His parents and sister are deceased.
Bachelorhood leads one to have a comfortable life divided into four parts, immediate family, career/employment, religious family, and leisure/recreation. Family was a very important part of his life when he left for college and was on his own. Dave made sure that he was a part of the family, through reunions, weddings, baptisms, graduations and â€˜celebrations of life' which brought love, respect and family closeness into gatherings and made lifelong friendships. He kept apprised of each one's goals and achievements.
David's death left his surviving brother, Gerald (Karen) Johnson and nephew Tyler and his lady friend, Heather; his nieces and nephew of sister Judy, Christopher (Kari) Lambie, Jennifer (Philip) Echenroth, and Joy (Boris) Monquino; cousins, Faith Wrobbel of Farmington Hills, Carol Doyle of Shelby Township, Nancy (Ron) Rodda of Clarkston, David (Shelby) Wrobbel of Columbus, Ohio, The Rev. Robert (Thelma) Wrobbel of Madison, Wis., Susan, dec. (Norbert) Mioka of Sun City Center, Fla., Colleen (Ernie) of Ortenberg, Fla., and Pat Engelbrecht of Gladwin; nine second cousins; and 13 third cousins.
David attended schools in Detroit and graduated from Denby High School. He received a full mathematics scholarship for University of Michigan
, attended and received a bachelor's degree in math and engineering. Continuing his scientific field of interest and study led him to a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from U of M. He was hired into and worked for The Dow Chemical Co. in Midland for 30 years, from 1967 until retirement. His mind ever active for new areas of research and development, from scale-up, to the laboratory, on to the pilot plant, to a semi-plant into production on expandable polymer beads known as Evaporative Pattern Casting Resin. He patterned many new polymer advancements for Dow.
Being a kid at heart and loving the out-of-doors, his Canadian Lakes cabin was his respite for fishing and hunting. Being raised on the St. Clair River, he enjoyed playing ice hockey. As an adult if not playing, he coached for 19 years; youth, ages 11-14 and children, 8-10 through the Midland Youth Hockey League. This age group continued to peak Dave's mind with their questions to problems of life which lead him into the desire to help youth. Hence, upon retirement, he pursued a new field of study at Saginaw Bible College and graduated as a youth pastor. This gave him a new vestige for serving his church family and young people who constantly challenged his vast fields of knowledge received through reading, study and travel. He was a member of Old Mariners Church, Detroit, and while living here he became a member of Midland Assembly of God Church presently called Christian Celebration Center.
He always felt that one of his greatest achievements was the development of "Teen Challenge" and the "Junior Bible Quiz" program. He was the photographer for many special events, i.e. Living Christmas Tree and the Passion Play and involvement with several small group studies within the church family. The year before his illness, he enrolled at Delta College to study film writing, photography and film production. He mentioned that the reality in films today had lost the fine arts of music, poetry and stories that have meaning rather than sectionalism for profit.
Friends may call at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home in Midland, Saturday, July 27, 2013, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and from 3 p.m. at the Christian Celebration Center at 6100 Swede Ave., services at 4 p.m. The Rev. Lynne Biddle will give the tribute to David R. Johnson's life. Friends and family gathering will follow immediately for supper in the Fellowship hall at 5 p.m. Gifts in memory in lieu of flowers, may be sent to Midland Hockey Youth Association, Mid-Michigan Hospice, Shiners' Children Hospitals, Chicago, Ill., or to Christian Celebration Center of Midland.