David B. Johnson, May 8, 2019

We are sad to report that David B. Johnson, retired mathematics faculty passed away on May 8, 2019.

David started working as a full-time mathematics professor at DVC in 1981, but had worked eight years prior as an adjunct faculty member. David held a B.A. in mathematics, and a B.A. in psychology from UC Santa Cruz, and a M.A. in mathematics from UC Berkeley.

In David’s retirement bio, he stated that one of the highlights of his DVC career was team teaching two integrated calculus and physics courses with Rachel Westlake, Oshri Karmon and Jim Ardini. One course combined Math 192 and Physics 129, and the other combined Math 292 and Physics 130. These courses were funded by the US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the General Electric Foundation. David said that FIPSE reported the project generated the best statistics of any other project! Another highlight for David was co-writing the liberal arts math textbook Mathematics a Practical Odyssey with Tom Mowry.

David retired in 2015.

 

Jun 18, 2019

My father was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in March of 2018. He was given a 16% survival rate; he knew the odds were stacked against him and insisted on fighting Leukemia head on because he had a lot of life to live. He was the strongest person I know. Hurdle after hurdle came his way towards the end of his life and he dealt with each of them in stride, never giving up hope. He fought through mysterious rashes, nightly fevers, a stroke, having to be in isolation and even a broken femur. After a 14 month battle, he passed away in his sleep on May 8, 2019. 

 

My father was so lucky that he was able to fight as long as he did. When he was initially diagnosed, his doctor said that if he didn’t seek treatment he wouldn’t be alive in 3 months. His heavy duty treatment began in July 2018 as he spent a total of 227 out of 293 days between UCSF and nursing homes. His treatment consisted of some heavy duty chemo’s, one of which was very scary, and a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, my uncle was a 100% match. My dad moved into UCSF in July of 2018 to undergo several rounds of chemo before getting his transplant on October 10, 2018 (which the nurses called his second birthday). My brother and I will be forever grateful for the extra year of life he gifted my dad and us. 

 

Besides breaking his femur, post-transplant life was looking pretty good and things were beginning to look up. It wasn’t until February 2019 when my dad began showing signs of rejection and was re-admitted at UCSF. After a month or so, the rejection symptoms appeared to be under control and he was transferred to a nursing home to help him stand/walk due to severe muscle atrophy. He was sent back to UCSF about a month later as he continued to battle rejection and only got weaker from there. My dad made the decision to go into hospice on May 6th, care was withdrawn on May 7thand he passed away nearly 30 hours later during the early hours on May 8th

 

I’ll vividly remember my last day with him. It was May 7th. I got to the hospital around 4PM and although he was only conscious for about 15 minutes, I stayed until about 11:30PM. My dad found a new liking for baseball and became an Oakland A’s fan (woohoo!) during the last month of his life. On the night of May 7th, even though he wasn’t awake, my dad and I watched Mike Fiers pitch his second career no-hitter. I’d like to believe that was for my dad. I then kissed my dad goodnight on his forehead, told him I loved him and that I’d be back tomorrow after work.

From Dave’s daughter Lauren