Celebrating David

Hi All. I am really excited about contributing to this blog, so I want to introduce myself. My name is Jenny. You can find my personal blog here (just a small plug!  )

I’ve gotten to know many people with disabilities in the past three years, and it’s been eye opening and a pleasure. When I first started working where I do, it was really intimidating walking into a room of people with disabilities, but after a few months, it became no big deal because I saw that they are just people. Like everyone else, with the same goals and desires.

Anyway, enough about me.

You may have read this post by Tim. I had the pleasure of meeting with some folks at Starfire a few weeks ago to talk about David because I was writing a remembrance article about him. We met right before David’s memorial service, so he was fresh on everyone’s mind.

(I must admit, I was a bit nervous writing a remembrance piece because I’d never met him, but mostly because he seemed so joyful I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to personify that in my article. But again, enough about me.)

Here’s the piece:

It was impossible to feel bad when David Johnson was around. He was known at Starfire U as the king of compliments.
“Once, David gave the ultimate compliment,” said Tim Vogt, Starfire Executive Director, “He and our receptionist would always try to one-up each other. One morning, David said ‘You look nice today as usual and in the future.’ How can you top that?”

David started attending the Starfire U day program two years ago.

“He pretty much owned the place as soon as he walked in,” said Tim.

With a huge, constant smile, David was interested in everyone he met and the first to volunteer for anything. David asked new friends about their families, pets, jobs.

A member of Starfire’s ambassador program, David was known for wearing a Spongebob tie when speaking to kids, and for loving to share his favorite gummy candy.

David was also a big music fan. His favorite singer was Miley Cyrus, and he was known around Starfire to dance and sing in front of everyone.

In May, David passed away at age 21. He will be remembered fondly for demonstrating love, acceptance, and starting each day with a smile.