David Paul Johnson Profile Photo
1937 David Paul Johnson 2024

David Paul Johnson

September 21, 1937 — June 2, 2024


Obituary: David Paul Johnson (September 21, 1937 – June 2, 2024)

David Paul Johnson, beloved husband, father, grandfather and loyal friend passed away on June 2, 2024, at the age of 86 from heart failure. 


Born on September 21, 1937, in Austin, Minnesota, David was the beloved son of Axel Johnson and Mary Lydia Johnson (née Freyberger). His childhood in Austin was joyful and filled with childhood friends that he kept through the years. 

David's life was a testament to service, dedication, and love. He proudly served his country in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Korea and Fargo, North Dakota. His commitment to his nation was paralleled by his commitment to his education, earning a bachelor's degree from Hamline University that would set the foundation for a successful career. David was curious and caring about all people which he expressed through conversations that continued throughout his lifetime.

David married Karen Ann Kelting of Moorhead, Minnesota, when stationed in Fargo. They were married for 61 years; a partnership that would bring them three wonderful children: two sons, Lance and Eric Johnson, and a daughter Erin (deceased), who were the light of their lives. His children were his pride and joy, the center of his world, and with Karen's influence and inspiration they shared many great adventures. 

Professionally, David dedicated many years to IBM, where he rose to the position of Director of Security after four years in the FBI. His IBM career was capped by his final assignment to Tokyo, where he was Director of Security for IBM Far East Asia. He was lucky enough to bring Karen, Eric and Erin on that wonderful experience (we won't talk about who he left behind working and trudging along through night school). His career was marked by a steadfast commitment to the safety and well-being of those he served, earning him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and peers.

Outside of his professional life, David loved talking to others, golf, skiing, travel around the world, and being around the pool in his backyard. The great outdoors was his sanctuary, a place where he found peace and joy. David and Karen lived with their family in California; Maryland; Katonah, New York; Houston; and finally in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, Arizona.  He cherished every moment spent with his family and friends, whether it was touring, golf, bird hunting, hiking, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature together. He connected with many old friends later in life, including David and Jean McLaughlin,  and shared the times he held closest to his heart, the memories that defined his personal happiness.

David's legacy is one of integrity, love, and service to others; as exemplified by his strong commitment to Erin's health challenges throughout her life, helping his granddaughters, and to helping Karen. He is survived by his devoted wife, Karen Ann Johnson, his sons, Lance and Eric Johnson, and his cherished four grandchildren: Sydney and Sierra Robinson and Kerry and Brendan Johnson. His love of travel and joy sharing experiences with others filled his family and friends with many great memories. Some of those experiences have passed with him now, but his friends and family that shared those times are made joyful in those memories. He also leaves behind a community of friends and extended family who will miss his greatest attribute, his gift of gab.

As we bid farewell to David Paul Johnson, we remember a life well-lived, a man who embodied the virtues of duty, family, and love. His memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him, and his spirit will continue to inspire us all.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday July 27, 2024, 11:00 am at Sedona United Methodist Church 110 Indian Cliffs Rd. Sedona, AZ.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Paul Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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