David Lee Johnston

September 9, 1944January 25, 2018

David Lee Johnston, beloved husband, father and friend passed away Wednesday, January 25, 2018 at 73 years of age. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1944, he moved with his family to Arizona, as a child. He excelled in high school academically and was a member of Key Club and served as the national governor of the Southwest region of Key Club. He received a scholarship to University of Arizona and graduated in 1967. After college, David served 5 years as a Captain in the United States Air Force. He flew combat missions in Vietnam as commander of a C-123 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry. He later served as an aircraft commander of a C-141, Instructor Pilot, and Flight Examiner with over 3000 hours of flight experience. He had a commercial pilot license with multi-engine and instrument ratings. He earned his MBA in 1973 in Real Estate and Finance from SMU, where he received the Glaze Award in Real Estate and the Dallas Finance Executives Award in Finance. He had a distinguished career in multi-family real estate development which included Vice President of Lomas & Nettleton Mortgage Investors, Dallas, Texas, Divisional Managing General Partner of Trammel Crow Residential Companies, Austin, Texas and Regional Partner of Property Company of America. His business expertise further led him to United Dominion Realty Trust, where he was Chief Investment Officer, President of Automotive Realty Trust of America and President of Archon Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc. He was a board member of the Frontiers of Flight Museum, member and officer of Society of International Business Fellows, member of the Verde Vaqueros Riding Club of Arizona, member of the Naval League of Dallas, Order of the Daedalions, and Distinguished Flying Cross Society. David was an avid sportsman who loved nature and the outdoors. He was an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman who enjoyed traveling globally to pursue his interests. In 1997 he purchased land in Meridian, Texas which he transformed into a beautiful ranch where he took great pleasure in entertaining a multitude of family and friends. David was a man of great character, who had natural nobility with a quiet presence. He made everyone he knew feel valued and respected. It is important to note all David’s great accomplishments, but if you were to ask him, he would say he was most proud of his family; he was a devoted husband and father. He is survived by his wife of forty years, Di Johnston, his son Garrett, his daughter, Claire and her husband Matt Bush, and numerous extended family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas, or Equest, PO BOX 171779, Dallas, Texas 75217. His life will be celebrated at a Memorial Service at 2pm on Tuesday, January 30 at Park Cities Presbyterian Church located at 4124 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219. The family will receive visitors at a reception at the church following the service.


  • Memorial Service

    Tuesday, January 30, 2018


David Lee Johnston

have a memory or condolence to add?

Irene Hosford

January 31, 2018

Di, I saw David's obituary in the DMN. I'm so sorry for your loss. I remember when you first told your SMU law friends about David. You had a permanent smile on your face. A good man. I hope you find peace in your memories and in your family.
Irene Hosford

Laurel (Epps) Suchyta

January 29, 2018

Jenny called me and let me know of David's passing. I am so sad to hear about your loss please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

jolie humphrey

January 28, 2018

Dear sweet Di, I am very sorry for your loss. Please know my prayers are with you and your family.

Greg Lee

January 28, 2018

Our hearts are broken, but we remain with you always. You were a dear and special friend.As roommates in college we maintained our friendship thought out the years with yearly get togethers. What wonderful memories we made...Our thoughts are with your family at this time, you so dearly loved them.

Greg Lee

Jan Strimple

January 28, 2018

My heart aches for David's loving family as they travel this path together. The Johnston house is a home filled with love and respect that is so readily a measure of David and Di's parenting.

I send my prayers for David's spirit and to you, Di, Claire and Garrett for the pain and sadness of his unexpected passing. My heartfelt condolences.

Deborah Brown

January 28, 2018

David touched the lives of all he knew and his zest for life was incomparable. Words are inadequate to express the sorrow and sympathy that we extend. He will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever. Prayers for you and all the family.

Ron & Barbara Perkins

January 27, 2018

David was the most caring and generous man we have ever known. He loved his family and contributed to the community greatly. He was my best friend and will be missed by many. We loved you David !!!!


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