David Kohler Johnson

January 27, 1940 – April 8, 2020

Dave was born in Coldwater, Michigan on January 27, 1940 to Russell and Elizabeth Kohler Johnson. After the end of World War II, the family moved to a family-owned 20-acre peach farm in Mickleton, New Jersey, near Philadelphia. In 1949, his father, who worked in public health, accepted a position with the Michigan Department of Health in Escanaba, Michigan, and the family moved again.

In 1962, he graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, having married Louise Rademacher, whom he met at Lawrence. They moved to Milwaukee, where he taught sixth grade; and there, his two children were born. They built a new home in Grafton, Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee, where Dave joined IBM and won many awards as an IBM salesman. In 1973, the family relocated to Phoenix, where he and Louise divorced.

Dave had relocated to IBM’s office in Los Angeles, California, by 1975, and he met Mentra Forester at church in Redondo Beach. When the company moved their corporate headquarters to Dallas, Texas, they wanted Dave to move with them. Dave and Mentra married and accepted the relocation, beginning their life together there in Dallas. 

In 1988, Dave and Mentra purchased a ComputerLand franchise in Capitola, California, near Santa Cruz, and found a beautiful setting overlooking Monterey Bay to call home. That same year, IBM recognized their store as the best IBM personal computer dealer in the 11-state Western Region. When the Loma Prieta (7.1) earthquake hit their area in October, 1989, they lost their home and their business. They started a new life in Bryan, Texas in 1991, where Dave founded Complete Data Systems, Inc., and grew the company for the next 16 years. Ultimately, he sold the company in 2007 to an employee who has continued its success.  

Dave, a second-generation member, joined Rotary International in Santa Cruz in 1988, and in 1991, transferred to the Bryan Rotary Club, where he continued serving five years as a club director before moving into the rotation to ultimately become club president in 2008–2009. His commitment to service continued in his roles as Assistant Governor from 2009–2012, District Governor Nominee in 2011–2012, and District Governor Elect in 2012–2013. In 2011, he led a GSE team to the Black Forest area of Germany. He attended nine international conventions and many district conferences, as well as Zone Institutes in 2010, 2011, and 2012. His travels took him to Lisbon and Sydney among other cities. Dave was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Benefactor, and recipient of the Roll of Fame award. Dave helped lead an effort to build what would become the first of three Habitat for Humanity home sponsored by the Bryan Rotary Club. His friendships and mutual projects with fellow Rotarians brought him great joy throughout his life.

He was a member of the International Wine Appreciation Fellowship, Rotarian Global History Fellowship, and the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians. In his final leadership role as a Rotarian, Dave served as District Governor in 2013-2014, yet he continued to encourage leaders at both the district and club level for the rest of his life.

Dave enjoyed singing and from 1991–2000, he was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, and was part of their choir. In 2000, he joined Christ United Methodist Church in College Station. He continued to be active in their Music Ministries as a member of the Sanctuary Choir, the Chamber Singers, and quartet, Voices Four.  

Dave passed away peacefully on April 8, 2020 in Bryan. He was preceded in death by his father, Russell; mother, Elizabeth, brother, Jim; and his two sons, Kurt and Eric. Dave is survived by his beloved wife, Mentra, and her two daughters, Teri and Leslie. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

The family would like to offer a special thank you to the medical professionals at CHI St. Joseph as well as his nurse, Amanda Brown, and Dr. Jones, with Allumine Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Dave with a donation to the Bryan Rotary Club, PO Box 2760, Bryan, TX 77805.

Please leave your condolences online in his guest book at CallawayJones.com. 

Condolences

  1. RIP Bryan Rotarian, Past Rotary District Governor … wonderful mentor and loyal friend Dave Johnson. You will be missed Governor.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

  2. Rest in peace my fellow Rotarian! I will miss your company at the lunches each Wednesday. Thank you for being so welcoming as I joined the Bryan Rotary. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. We could always count on Dave to extend his hand in greeting and to say something useful and encouraging at Rotary. He was an excellent example/mentor to us all. His consistency in service is legendary among his fellow Rotarians. He will be missed at our meetings, and in this community he chose to make his home. We were blessed to know him, to watch him and to learn from him.
    Rest in Peace, Dave…and in your new home sing before the throne of our God and Savior in your new heavenly voice. Through God’s grace I’ll be there to join you in the song of rejoicing, and that meeting will be everlasting.

  4. Dave, you left an indelible mark on so many of us who relied on your steadfast friendship, leadership and guidance. I will never forget our lunch conversations at Rotary and the great time we all had at the convention in Montreal.

    Mentra and family you are in our prayers…thank you for sharing Dave with us.

  5. Dave enriched the lives of those with whom he interacted and he reached out to many so it was a wide circle of those who benefited from his engagement. It was a treat and an honor to be one of those with whom he shared his friendship. He left the world a better place. All of us extend profound sympathy to his family at this difficult time.

  6. Dave was a great Rotarian and a wonderful mentor! His thoughtful advice was always welcome and right on point. He had a servant’s heart and could be counted on to say “YES” whenever help was needed. Dave’s beautiful voice could be heard in every song we sang at Rotary. He will be missed.

    Mentra, you and your family are in my prayers.

  7. Dave was kind and friendly and never hesitated to share a kind word. I am grateful for the many times I was able to sit near him at our Wednesday lunch meetings. It was a pleasure to read of all of his accomplishments in Rotary and business. My prayers and thoughts go to Mentra and his family.
    Sincerely,
    Christie Whitbeck

  8. Sending prayers to you Mentra that you will have peace during this difficult time. I have only known Dave for a little over a year, but could see how special he was. He will be sadly missed.

  9. May God’s peace be with your family. You were a friend and encouraged me in Rotary. I will miss your friendship.

  10. Two weeks before I moved to Bryan-College Station from Mississippi seven and a half years ago a story ran in The Eagle about my relocation and mentioned I had been a Rotary President. There I sat in my office in Mississippi and my phone rang. It was Dave calling to invite me to the Bryan Rotary Club. He was so passionate about his Rotary Club and keeping it growing. Rest In Peace, Dave, and thank you for letting me be a part of your club.

  11. Dearest Mentra, Leslie and Teri,
    We were so sorry to hear of Uncle Dave’s passing. He was a dear husband to Mentra and will be missed. He was a very good cook and we appreciated the special meals he cooked when we were there. We are so sorry for your loss Mentra and hope that the memory of many happy moments over the years will be a comfort to you.
    Much Love and Condolences at this difficult time,
    Lorinda and Jim Bechtel

  12. Rest in peace, Dave. Thank you for being so kind and welcoming to me, a newcomer to Bryan Rotary. I am honored to have been able to share your company and stories about Entre Computers. My deepest condolences and love to Mentra and all your family.

  13. Dave was my friend, mentor and encourager since I joined the Bryan Rotary Club in 2011. Dave went out of his way to make me feel welcome and helped me get involved and grow in my Rotary experience. Dave pushed me out of my comfort zone several times and he always believed I could do more than I thought I could. I always looked forward to seeing him and I already miss him.

    Dave gave me his Past President Rotary pin to wear after my term ended and I think about how kind he was to me every day that I wear that pin. Having his pin is a huge honor to me.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Mentra and her family, rest in peace Dave.

  14. I enjoyed hearing Dave in the CUMC choir when I was a member. He voice was unforgettable and his face too for I knew I “knew” him from his lovely picture. I am not surprised he was a successful man and such a community leader with the rotary. I helped on at least one of builds he had with Habitat. I remember him thanking me and my Sunday School class for feeding the group. He was a nice man. May he Rest In Peace. I send prayers of comfort to all that loved him.

  15. Our lives are filled with Yin &Yang. Mentra and Dave were just that. Mentra being social and Dave content being the quiet, supportive straight man, who was quick to pipe in with the punch line or tee one up for Mentra. Mentra was my Mom’s best friend from childhood. When the two of them would get together I would watch Dave simply melt into the background so those two gals could let loose with what ever they were onto. Dave was the perfect compliment to Mentra. He was smart, articulate, and enjoyed the wave of the tech world as it was emerging…..but more than anything, he loved Mentra. Rest in peace, Dave.

  16. Mantra so sorry for your loss. May your memories bring you peace.

  17. Rest In Peace, friend and fellow member of the Men’s Chorale, First Presbyterian Church, Bryan, TX. So sorry for your loss, Mentra. We valued your and David’s friendship for the 20 years our families lived in Bryan. He was a valued friend, in whom I could trust, always a reliable member of our men’s group. I remember one walk through Bryan with him, you, and my wife where we stopped at a German restaurant. When we all ordered dinner, David, said, ‘Well, surprise me’ to our waiter. He was a good, solid, trusting person.

  18. It is so hard to say good-bye to those we love. We had so much fun with Dave and Mentra. Long time friends and lots of good memories. Dave loved what he did in his life time with business venturers, Rotary, Church choir and being with his wonderful wife Mentra. There are not many people who have had the adventurous life that Dave and Mentra found in they life together. Hopefully heaven has a computer waiting for him and I bet he will let God know if he needs help, Dave will be there to help him. There are no good bye’s in life we all have memories.
    With love, Ken & Betty Thomas

  19. Dave was a mentor and a friend. He will be missed. Condolences to Mentra from all of us at CDS.

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