H. Richard (Dick) Johnson
Beloved father and husband, died December 9, surrounded by his loving family. The Co-Founder, President and CEO of Watkins Johnson Company, as well as 55-year resident of Palo Alto, will be remembered for his many extraordinary achievements as family patriarch; businessman, community volunteer, philanthropist and outdoorsman. Dick was laid to rest at Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto.
Admitted to Cornell when he was just 16, Dick was then admitted to MIT for graduate school, with an academic reference from Richard Feynman. He completed his PhD in Physics, and in 1957 went on to co-found Watkins Johnson Company, a leading manufacturer of traveling wave tubes and military reconnaissance systems, and transmitting; power amplifiers used by NASA missions including Viking to Mars, Pioneer 10, Jupiter, Voyager I, II and Galileo.
Dick was a lecturer at UCLA and Stanford, served on panels for the NSA, was a Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, was President of the Stanford Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America, Board member of the United Way, Technology Center of Silicon Valley and Santa Clara Manufacturing Group (a group of CEOs concerned about improving Silicon Valley's housing, transportation and education).
Dick is survived by his loving wife Mary Louise Johnson, his five children, fifteen grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
As a strong supporter of the arts, including Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Palo Alto Players and the San Francisco Symphony, the family asks that contributions be made in his memory to any of these organizations which gave him so much pleasure.