David A. Johnson, MD, PhD

June 13, 1952 - December 9, 2018
David A. Johnson, MD, PhD


David A. Johnson, MD, PhD, of Wilmington, NC originally of Parkland, PA went home to be with our Lord on December 9, 2018, after a long and arduous battle with MDS and acute leukemia. He was the son of the late Charles and Mary Johnson, born in Philadelphia, PA on June 13, 1952. He is survived by his loving and grateful wife of 36 years, Patricia; his daughters, Emily and Caroline; his son Bradley (Kayla); and two sisters, Mary Beth Poplau and Judy Thomas (Wayne) of New Jersey, cousin Bill Blakely of CA; and numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His family includes in-laws Elaine (Dr. Ronald) Barry of ME, Sharon Holmes of CA, Michael (Kathy) DeConti of CT, John (Mary) DeConti of CT, Rose (David) Weed of CT, Joanne (Troy) Helms of WA, and their loving families. Dave was predeceased by his brother Charlie.

David graduated from Haddon Township HS in NJ, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and obtained a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and his medical internship at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center there as well, and completed his residency at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Johnson also completed fellowship training in Pediatric Ophthalmology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC with Dr. Marshall Parks.

Dr. Johnson was an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in the early 1990s.

Following his academic career, Dr. Johnson became an accomplished private practice physician in Wichita, Kansas at The Eye Clinic of Wichita/Grene Vision Group, then here in Wilmington at Wilmington Eye from 2005-2016. He was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and became a fellow of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Dr. Johnson was also elected to the prestigious American Ophthalmological Society and throughout his career was recognized as one of the best doctors both in America and in North Carolina. Dr. Johnson’s career accomplishments also included publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, research trials in children’s eye care for PEDIG, and serving as a reviewer for professional journals in ophthalmology.

David’s passions in life included spending time with his family, his avid support of and involvement in Boy Scouts of America, Cape Fear Council, long-distance cycling, fishing, crabbing, and bird-watching. David was beloved in his community and will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held at The Bridge Church, 2101 Market Street, on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in his name to one of the following: the Children’s Eye Foundation of AAPOS (Childrenseyefoundation.org), BetheMatch.org, or Boy Scouts of America, Cape Fear Council https://www.capefearcouncilbsa.org/donate/donate-online/

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099


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  • December 12, 2018
    Sara Rosenberg Gilgore says:
    Sincere condolences to DJ's family..We hadn't been in touch after high school for for reasons of geographics, but what a great guy he was...Smart, funny and all around nice guy! So sorry for what he and you all went through. May his memory be a blessing.

  • January 10, 2019
    Michael Jarvis MD PhD says:
    Davie was one of my strongest and essential supports during medical school for which I am forever grateful. He was part of the small group of "geriatric" medical students at Washington University who had already achieved great success prior to entering medical school and dedicating themselves to the relief of human suffering. . He became invaluable as a friend. He was the rare individual whose positive contributions to those he knew and treated far exceeded what would he could have received in return.

  • January 03, 2019
    Heather & Joshua Sandlin says:
    Dear Mrs Johnson & Family, I'm sry im jus seeing n hearing bout the loss of ur beloved Mr Johnson husband, daddy, etc. This really breaks my heart n when i have to break it to my son I know he will be so heartbroken too Mr Johnson saw my son for many years at Wilm Eye Associates n did surgery on his eyes for strabimus n changed his eye glasses prescription more than x3 times to get his eyes wrkn together as best he could n it worked n we are forever grateful. Due to Mr Johnson having to tke off we ended up n Chapel Hill where they weren't as nice n caring but, only at the eye center n but, now were back at Wilmington Eye but, it's def n will nvr be the same without Dr Johnson. May God wrap his loving arms around u all n give u peace & comfort during this time. Please know that no-one will ever tke Mr Johnson's place n the eye care center esp when it comes to pediatrics cause i know he was the BEST. Thank you so much for all he has done for me n my son Joshua we are n will be forever grateful Take Care n May God Bless You All Much Love from Ms Heather n my son Joshua Sandlin Mr Johnson Heaven gained n angel when God got u n May u now rest in Peace

  • December 15, 2018
    Michael Bartiss says:
    Pat, I am so sorry to hear of David’s passing. He will be sorely missed, Please accept my heartfelt condolences for you and your family.

  • December 15, 2018
    Marie says:
    Pat and Family: So sorry for your loss. Dave was a wonderful person, with a great sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Though it may sound trite, I know he is watching over you all from above, sending you all of his love.