Danny Lynn Johnson


Danny Lynn Johnson

November 23, 1947 – September 3, 2015



Danny Lynn Johnson, 67, died September 3, 2015 in Ardmore, OK from complications related to his dementia. He had been in hospice care at the Ardmore Veteran’s Home since April and died peacefully in his sleep.johnson danny

Danny Lynn Johnson was born November 23, 1947 to Gurney and Ernestine Johnson in Great Bend, Kansas and passed from this life on September 3, 2015. He was the youngest of 3 boys. His parents and brother, Jerry Ray, preceded him in death and he is survived by his brother Richard.

He was married to the former Lydia Roberson, a 1965 Ardmore High School classmate, and had 3 children – Brian Michael Johnson and his wife Christine of Guthrie, Holly Danise Qualls and husband Michael of Oklahoma City, and Kelly Lynne Johnson and partner Brandon Swanson of Edmond. Dan had 7 grandchildren – Joshua, Justin, Victoria, Cada, Michael, Alexandra and Michaela and a great grandson, Liam. Dan also has a new grandchild due to be born in March 2016.

His work was spent in his passion, law enforcement training, and hundreds of officers across the state considered him not only a teacher, but a mentor and friend. He was Executive Director of CLEET (Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training), Oklahoma’s Chief Park Ranger, and retired from OSU/OKC where he was a professor of police science.

Those who knew Danny were familiar with the loves of his life: wild and crazy ties, funny t-shirts, bulldogs, golf, Motown, Elvis, his dog Lucy, Oklahoma’s police community, teaching, OU football, and studying the Bible.

Danny was diagnosed with dementia in December 2011 and his family would like to request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association. The family would also like to extend their gratitude to the following people and caregivers: Ardmore Veteran’s Center, Unit 1, Brightstar Care of Edmond, his VA HBPC care team at the Oklahoma City VA hospital, and Cross Timbers Hospice in Ardmore. Lastly, the family would like to extend a special appreciation to Danny’s nephew Jeff Johnson for being with him when he passed.

Danny’s memorial service will be held at Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Thursday, September 10th at 2:00 pm with reception to follow.

35 thoughts on “Danny Lynn Johnson”

  1. Jan Mattingly

    Danny was one of a kind. You knew he was a take no crap kind of guy, but you also knew he would do anything for you. He was a pivotal force during my teenage years. If a man can be judged by his legacy, it is clear that he was a wonderful man. His family are some of the nicest, kindest people you will ever meet and they mean the world to me. You are in my thoughts and I know your love was always in his heart.

  2. Danny, how does one describe him? He had a heart as large as the ocean; a wicked/great sense of humor and could tell stories which would keep you in stiches – one after the other; he had a great faith in family and in God; he was so much like his Mother, Ernestine, in many ways and loved his parents dearly; he loved his career and put his heart into his teaching others; his life was taken much too soon yet we know he has seen Jesus and for that we are very thankful; above all, he loved his wife, children, grandchildren and his great grandson without measure; He gave the eulogy for my Mother’s service when she passed and I will always be grateful for his beautiful words, humor and love as he spoke about her life. He will be greatly missed by more than he could have imagined. I love you dear cousin.

  3. Amanda Thomas

    Professor Johnson was the best!! He took time and invested in all of us. He encouraged me to go after what I wanted and always had the biggest smile on his face!

  4. Valerie Easley

    This man is the epitome of law enforcement. I learned so much from this man, who prepared all the officers who he trained at OSU Police Science how to survive on the street. How to respect the badge, and so many things. I am so very sorry to hear that he is gone and I send all the love the strength to his family. The law enforcement community has suffered a great loss. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace brother. You are loved forever.

  5. Danny and I were friends from about the seventh grade. We played lots of sports together, and as Vietnam Veterans we had a great respect for each other . He was the only person to ever give me a nickname ‘SUPER K’ and I gave him the name of ‘DYNAMO DANNY’ for over 50 years that was our greeting.
    Keith Nance
    class of Ardmore class of 1965

  6. my papa was a great wonderful man. i remember when i was a little girl i would lay in his lap for hours and he would tell me tons of stories, and make a rabbit out of a napkin. i didn’t realize how many lives he touched. i will forever miss my papa. rip papa.

  7. He was my favorite instructor at OSU. The best teacher I ever had. His support kept me driving on through my personal doubts. He had a way of saying exactly what was needed at the perfect time. RIP Dr. Johnson

  8. Amanda Christine

    I’m deeply saddened by this news. He was one of the best professors I ever had.
    He was also probably the funniest. I’m glad I got to meet him and spend time in several of his classes.

  9. Sister-in-Law (Pat Johnson)

    I have been trying to come up with comment but those who knew him have said it already. I know his love of family was very important to him. He put up a good fight but now “Rest in Peace brother”! In trying to remember anyone thing about him in all the years I was around him he never let it be known if he was angry about anything! Thoughts and Prayers to Lydia and family!

  10. Kenny Heitzman

    To describe or explain Danny Lynn is like trying to describe or explain the beauty of the earth God created. Danny was one of my dearest friends who I will always love him. He was my mentor at OSU-OKC. We spent many hours in his office talking about our wives, OU football, our lives and our love for life as well as the Lord. The mold was broke after Danny was born and it will never be replaced. God Bless to Lydia and the children on their loss. Remember this: Danny’s healed now and he no longer suffers. That’s God’s promise. May the Lord bless you and heal you Lydia (and your children) during this trying time.

  11. Paco Balderrama

    I have great memories of Mr. Dan Johnson, one of my very first college professors back in 1995. He was very passionate, articulate and quite entertaining during his Penal Code lectures. Dan truly cared about passing on his law enforcement knowledge to the next generation. His legacy continues in the hundreds of students he taught, molded and left a strong impression in.
    I feel proud to have known him and consider it an honor to be his former student.

  12. My heart cries out in pain, my cup is full of sorrow. Rest in peace my dear little brother. Thank our Heavenly Father for Lydia and a loving family who saw to Dan’s needs ’til the end. Thank you Father for sharing Dan with us for this brief life here on earth. Heaven will be a better place

  13. The memories and the obituary of Danny remind me of how one person can touch so many lives in a wonderful and loving way. Danny Johnson put his mark on everyone in came in contact with, be it family, friend or learner. Has one piece of the puzzle that I knew as Danny Johnson my memory will always be his smile. Having grown up with him in Kansas, and being a brother of a in-law was enough to known Danny would grow-up to help and care for God’s people. His rewards in his life were many from family, education, job, and friends. But the greatest happened on Sept. 3rd when the Lord said to Danny,” Will done good and faithful servant .” You will be missed but not forgotten..

  14. Mr. Johnson was far and away the best professor that I had in my law enforcement training. I learned more from him than any other course I took. He was always willing to go above and beyond to help anyone in need and had a kind word for everyone he encountered. He will be missed by all who knew how infectious his laugh or even just his smile could be. Godspeed Mr. Johnson.

  15. Doug Pattillo

    I always looked forward to seeing Danny because he never failed to greet you with a BIG smile and BEAR HUG. He was one of the BIGGEST personalities of our class of 65. Even when he was not quite himself, you could still look forward to that FAMOUS GREETING. I believe his legacy is just as all his many friends and family have described in their wonderful comments. He truly did make a memorable mark on so many, in just as many ways. Danny and Lydia are a couple you would never forget, once their lives touched yours.

  16. Hard to articulate how much he affected so many. Not only in the pursuit of law enforcement but in life in general. Not one of us can say that we aren’t just a little bit better because of his guidance. His lessons and values will live on in those of us he touched.

  17. Dr. Jim Roberts

    While I do not remember what I had for dinner last night I “do” clearly remember the first time I met Dan. It was at the Robert R. Lester Law Enforcement Training Center where I was assigned to Troop T of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. I was sitting in my office when this monster of a personality guy steps in and says, “Hi, I’m Dan Johnson and K.O. Rayburn said we should get to know one another.” That was around 1979’ish. We became and remained good personal and professional friends since. There was a time when Dan could hit a golf ball a mile – he just didn’t know which way it was going to go. God, how I loved being around Dan. I could go on telling wonderful stories about Dan: how much he loved and respected his fellow law enforcement officers; the value he always placed on friendship; his love of family; and his love of The Lord. I will always remember Dan.

  18. Danny and I were classmates and friends at Ardmore High School. I got to know Danny even better at the Ardmore post office where I went to work full time and he worked summers after college let out. Danny was a good and hard worker and alot of fun to be around. Hey…..he had to be a great guy…he married Lydia(LuLu)! He will surely be missed but all is well with Danny now.

  19. im a second cousin to Dan Jerry and Richard My father and JR Dan and Richard were half brothers My father Jl Cole Johnson also passed away years,ago I had the pleasure of knowing JR for several years before he passed away and Dan fir many years,I didnt even know i was related to Dan until i met him him at CLEET while going through my basic I too was born in Ardmore but grew up in California I served 5 years as a police officer thereuntil i moved back here Couple of years with elreno pd then 23 with Edmond
    Dan was quite a character i enjoyed his and JRs stories about the Johnson clan more than anything I guess we are everywhere I will truly miss you Dan but we all know you are in a much better place

  20. Shayne Slovacek

    Dan was more than a friend he was a Brother in Arms He made so many good things happen for me I could never repay him. He was and is one of the finest humans I have ever known Rest in peace my friend .

  21. Patty Cox Acree

    I have great memories of Danny from Ardmore High School. Danny was always so

    friendly, funny, and so sweet. I will continue to pray for you, Lydia, and for your family.

    God Bless,

  22. William W. Ellis

    Dan was a gift. He never taught me; he made a point to show me the way. He’d lift you up when you were down, he’d kick your butt if you got off the path. He was more than one type of man. He was whatever you needed. I’ve had many teachers. There are very few people that I worried about disappointing. Dan was one. Here’s hoping that I never earn my red card.

    I like to think that once you get past St. Peter, Professor Johnson shows you the ropes.

    God bless you, Dan. You left the woodpile higher, and the thin blue line a little thicker. I love you.

  23. Monroe Cameron

    About 57 years ago a group of boys without anything to do one summer ended up playing baseball off of Mt. Washington Road in Ardmore and we, with some coaching, became city league champions and that was my first real exposure to Danny along with John Murphey, Mike Morris, Warren Henderson and Clark Morter. We were a hell of a team.

    I spoke a few weeks ago with Keith Nance and we talked about Danny. I was looking forward to swinging by the Veteran’s Center while in town for our 50th reunion and presenting Danny with the 1965-AHS-2015 shirt I had printed for him as a reminder of those in his class who miss him.

    Danny as he was at our last reunion, full of himself, is now frozen in my memory.

    Hasta la vista, my friend.

  24. Larry Habegger

    Dan was not only a friend, he was a great mentor throughout my law enforcement career. Dan was my predecessor as Chief Park Ranger. I had the privilege of traveling the State with Dan, training and working special events within the State Parks for several years.
    So many memories. Rest in peace my friend, you will be truly missed.

  25. Vernon Phillips

    I first met Dan in another world, in another life. He was a great young man then. We became Blood Brothers. Little did I know then that our paths would cross again when I joined the OHP. He was a great man then also, and remains so unto this day. His family has every right to be extremely proud of his legacy of service and education to the Law Enforcement community of Oklahoma and the United States.

    I am sure he is having some interesting conversations with St. Peter and Jesus. I pray that I can someday join them. My prayers are with all of his family and friends. May God Bless each of you and keep you safe.

    Penes Deum Meum Bellator Fratrem.

  26. Daniel Britton

    I always enjoyed going to class with Professor Johnson. He, as many have said before, always made things come alive, knew what to say at the right moment, and kept you in your place when needed. He taught me and so many others what it truely meant to be a peace officer at OSU-OKC and helped me get where I wanted to be. I’ll never forget the day that he stopped me as I was leaving class and said, “You can call me Dan now because that’s what my friends call me.” I’ll always remember him saying, “God loves you. I love you. And the police are out there.” – Thanks for leaving the woodpile just a little higher. RIP.

    Trooper Daniel Britton
    Texas Highway Patrol

  27. I am saddened by the news of Dan’s passing. He was one of a kind. He was an experienced law enforcement officer that could easily instruct others about the profession. He was a kind and generous man that had a great sense of humor. May GOD comfort his family and give them peace. I look forward to seeing you again brother.

    “The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
    Psalm 34:18

  28. Kelly Johnson - daughter

    My father was a brilliant man with a heart as big as the Mississippi river. He impacted so many people’s lives and made my life better. I’m proud to be his daughter, I am proud to have been the apple of his eye. He visited me in a dream the other night. He was walking tall up the driveway, no longer sick. He said, “I’m okay guys. I was sick for a long while, but I’m okay now.” There is no doubt that my father is walking tall with angels, exactly where he is supposed to be. He loved like no other, and was loved like no other. He really taught me the power of silence, forgiveness and unconditional love. During the day, I keep busy, and at night, in the dark, I really miss my dad. I find myself weeping and wailing because so much of my identity was caring for him—I feel lost. I find comfort in knowing I have a strong soul looking out for me from a power greater than that of human strength. I know someday we’ll meet again.

  29. Chance Simpson

    What can I say? The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Community and the world as a whole lost a wonderful man. The very first class I had with Dan, he walked in and kicked the side of the desk. Without saying a word, he took his jacket off and put it on his chair revealing the most out of this world rubber duckie tie I had ever seen in my life! Throughout his lectures, it seems like he was always straightening that tie while launching into the most hysterical stories you would hear! The years I spent under his teachings were some of the best years of my life. The most profound memory I have of Dan was him telling his young students every day, “never pimp your badge, and never prostitute your heart.” He epitomized the American Law Enforcement Officer and closed his classes with,” always remember, I love ya, God loves ya, and the Police are out there!” Thank you sir for passing your knowledge on. Your memory and your legacy will live on for generations in the students you molded.

  30. Dan hired me on as a Park Ranger in 1987, the first time I met him he made me feel like I was a friend. After I got to know Dan he wasn’t just my boss he was my brother. Dan had something some people have & some people don’t its called “charisma” Dan had a lot of it. I will miss you my brother God Bless you for helping make me the man I am today. RIP

  31. Becky Holerud-Boyd

    This man was so full of life! He always had a smile on his face and something funny to say! He was my Leadership instructor at OSU-OKC many years ago, it was his first semester to teach in the Business Division, but he did an excellent job and I am very certain I learned more from him that semester than in any of my other business classes taught by seasoned business professors. He had a way of teaching that was so unique and he truly loved what he was doing, his passion for teaching was a vibrant force in his classrooms! I am so honored to say “I was one of his students”

    I ended up working for a few departments at OSU-OKC for several years after I achieved my degree, and Dan never failed to stop by and say hi, share a joke or sometimes just to tease me about moving onward & upward! He was a special man, and I will always smile when I hear his name.

  32. Jeff Johnson- Nephew

    My cousins Holly and Kelly did a fantastic job at the Memorial Service expressing the love they have for their Dad. What great ladies they both are.
    I could never thank my brother, Rick, enough for stepping up and delivering his great words and thoughts of our Uncle Danny who meant so much to us all, in so many different ways.
    Until we see you again,
    Love You Man!

  33. One of my favorite classmates – though Lydia was much cuter. Always greeted you with a smile and a hug. So many fond memories.

    Lydia, you were loyal and a diligent caregiver. Hope you will come to the reunion for some healing and some hugs.

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