Family Tribute to Dave

Something opens our wings. Something

makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us.

We taste only sacredness.


"Out of the Depths"
Jennifer Grover, Beloved of Dave


Death is a favor to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.
The impermanence of the the body
Should give us clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.
...all I know of life and myself is that
We are just a midair flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.
...our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.
Death is a favor to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.
The miraculous existence and impermanence
of Form Always makes the illumined ones
Laugh and sing.

Will will miss you  -  Dad and Ursie

Dave gave this to me and it describes him:
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In daily life, be competent.
In action, be aware of the time and the season.
Tao Te Ching

Meredith Thompson Johnston, sister


Dear God,
Dave was a very nice and fun great-uncle. He was very sweet and thoughtful, but I'm happy for him because he's gone to a better place. Everyone else is just sad. If he's up there with you, big guy, then let him walk again.
Meghan VanStavern, niece, age 10

Dave was a good man.
Jesus wept.
Holy Bible

Nicholas VanStavern, nephew, age 7

I liked the way Uncle Dave used to smile and laugh. And the way, when we were little, he would give us rides on his wheelchair. He was good at telling stories and at picking out the right Christmas presents for people.
Sophie Hulen, niece, age 8
Dear Uncle Dave,
I really enjoyed when you helped me with Lego and the other toys.
Cyrus Hulen, nephew, age 5


When my daughter Shelby first met Dave, she comfortably played with his wheelchair, pushing him back and forth. When my wife Laura first met Dave, she said that he was a wonderful, warm person who was also very handsome. And for me, Dave has touched me like no other person. He's taken me in, shared much wisdom with me, and shown me caring and forgiveness. Most of all, he has always had unconditional love for my family and me. Every time I think of him I get a big smile on my face. His spirit has consumed our hearts and minds and we will remember him always.
Aaron VanStavern, nephew

You are the deepest man I have ever known; deeply intelligent and deeply spiritual. Most of all was the depth of your love for us. Any time I talked to you, you looked at me with those piercing blue eyes, and I knew you were truly listening to me and cared about what I was saying. There will always be an empty place in my heart until we are together again.
Your nephew,
Jeremy VanStavern, nephew

Thank you, Dave, for you have given light to my rocky and troubled path, you have shown me strength and courage, I have been blessed by the warmth of your love.

I can imagine Dave saying something like: "Don't cover your candle, go light a bonfire, on the darkest of nights the stars shine brightly."

Love you Dave, shine on...shine on...shine on.

Mike Hulen, brother


The universe has many ways of speaking to us. Often we are unaware that we have been spoken to and pass the event or circumstance as "that is just the way life is." The near accident, the illness, a friendship, and other seemingly less important ways that just get lost in the minutia. But now the universe has spoken loud and clear with a voice that reaches into and resonates to the core of our souls through the death of our friend and loved one, Dave Johnston. So we are confronted today with deciphering the message and meaning for each of us. We must listen carefully, and prayerfully to what Dave and the universe is saying. For me, for today, the message is love and cherish each other and be triumphant through the tears that we shed so we can share the light of the sun with Dave.
John Grover, Jennifer's father and fond friend of Dave