Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

David Johnson, S.J., in memoriam


David Johnson, S.J.


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David W. Johnson, S.J., professor of Early Christian Languages at the Jesuit School of Theology. He died at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California of pancreatic cancer.

Fr. David was born in 1938 in San Francisco and grew up in San Carlos.  He graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, entered the Society of Jesus in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1969.  He attended Santa Clara University, graduated from Gonzaga University with his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, and completed his S.T.M. at Alma College.  He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America, where he taught until 2002 and served as Department Chair from 1988 to 1995.  Upon his retirement from Catholic University, he was appointed Scholar in Residence at JST, where he taught both at JST and as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.

His research interests included Coptic literature and language, Syriac and Aramaic language, and the history of the Early Christian Near East.

He is survived by his brothers, James Johnson of Redwood City, Paul Johnson of Santa Clara, and Ed Johnson, of Brownsmead, OR. 

Fr. David's Funeral will be at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos on Thursday, December 1 at 10:00 am with burial following at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetary.  We will have a Mass here at JST in the Gesu Chapel on Monday, November 28 at 5:15 p.m.  All are welcome.  Fr. John Endres will preach and Fr. Tony Sholander will preside.

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