Julie Dunn Johnson

April 24, 1944May 2, 2022
Obituary of Julie Dunn Johnson
Julianne Dunn Johnson expired peacefully after a sudden illness on May 1, 2022 with her children at bedside. Born April 24, 1944 in Kewanee, Illinois, Julie was the third of four children of Corwin Henry and Rachel Roberts Dunn. She attended University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, pledging Kappa Alpha Theta and was set up on a date with her future husband, Ward Andrew Johnson and left Urbana to support his distinguished Air Force career. Julie left the plains of the Midwest after her marriage and joined her husband in Okinawa, where their son was born. A daughter followed a few years later. Postings included Dayton, Shreveport, Ft. Worth, Omaha, Sacramento, Abilene, and finally Alconbury, England, before retiring in Austin, TX in 1990. Julie graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Special Education and later taught elementary education in Abilene, in England, and at Ortega Elementary in Austin, TX. An amazing athlete, Julie spent years playing tennis on multiple teams and was ranked as a USTA 4.5 until well into her 60s. While posted in England, Julie played on a men’s tennis team and was considered their ringer; the local competition otherwise didn’t pose a challenge. Julie was an avid reader and vocal member of several book clubs. She loved playing bridge and achieved her Life Masters in 2019, playing in tournaments across Texas and the Midwest. Bike riding was another life long passion; Julie loved a day that included the retiree’s triathlon of a bike ride, tennis match, and bridge game. She joined family and friends in bike tours across the multiple states and in Europe, but could also be found riding her bike to the library to swap out her books. In addition to playing sports, Julie transferred her loyalty to the Longhorns after putting Dirk and Jennifer through the University of Texas and had season tickets for over 30 years. Weekends in the fall have been dominated by alternately loving and lamenting the fortunes of her team while sweltering at DKR. As a special education teacher, Julie fought for children in need. She served as a Cub Scout leader for a troop at Ortega Elementary, volunteered for Settlement House, and was preparing to tutor Afghani refugee children at the time of her death. Julie spent the last 20 summers on the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan. While there, she loved to hike, kayak, bike ride, walk her beloved golden retriever Buddy, play bridge, and host friends and family. Julie is survived by her children Dirk Johnson, daughter in law Kirsten Thomas Johnson, and granddaughter Mia who reside in Austin, and her daughter Jennifer Kent Johnson of Houston, TX, as well as her siblings Corwin Roberts Dunn, MD (Cincinnati, OH and Leland, Michigan), Susan Dunn Green (Naples, FL and Leland, MI), Elizabeth Dunn Mitchell (Schnectadty, NY) and their spouses, children, and grandchildren Her husband Ward passed away in 2001. She remained close to her siblings and their families her entire life and took joy in spending most of every summer in Leland with them. Family and friends will remember Julie for her sense of fun, her energy, her loyalty, the joy she brought to simple things, like stopping to admire her own flowers when walking out the door. She loved Westerns and the space of the sky in West Texas. Julie relished finding the perfect funny birthday card and firmly believed one should do unto others as you’d have them do for you—so she wouldn’t give a gift she herself wouldn’t enjoy. A perfect meal would include her brisket, a green salad, and a rhubarb pie—which was also great for breakfast. Run for your life if you treated someone she loved poorly, didn’t love her dog, or scratched her car. She will be cherished for these and other happy memories too numerous to count. A memorial service will be planned at a later date in Lake Leelanau, MI. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Settlement Club of Austin ( or the Leland Library (

Show your support


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.