Obituary: Richard E Johnson
May 11, 1943 – January 12, 2022
Beloved husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend, Richard “Dick” Ernest Johnson, passed away peacefully at his home in Incline Village on January 12, 2022, at the age of 78. Dick was born on May 11, 1943, in Eureka, California to Mid and Ernie Johnson. He was a proud Cal Bear earning a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in Electrical Engineering in 1966 and later received a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University in 1967.
As a Silicon Valley pioneer in the 1970s and 1980s, he designed technologies in computer systems, electro-mechanical products, and emerging direct-to-home satellite television. In 1992, Dick left the Silicon Valley to join EchoStar in Denver, Colorado where he served as Vice President of Advanced Development and was responsible for developing the system architecture of Dish Network and its uplink center in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He also leant his expertise as a consultant, sitting on several advisory boards and consulting internationally, primarily in China where he helped build a satellite uplink center in Shanghai.
When he was not busy with his many business ventures, Dick spent his free time camping and waterskiing on Trinity Lake, snow skiing in Tahoe, completing multiple marathons, traveling to his second home in Shanghai, and watching his beloved bay area sports teams and his grandchildren’s many activities. He also kept busy as a master wood worker and skilled handyman.
Dick is survived by his wife of 35 years, Becky Johnson; his three children, Jenny Doyas, Andy Johnson and Dawn Curtis; his five grandchildren, Johanna Doyas, Leigh Doyas, James Doyas, Anne Curtis and Joseph Curtis; his brother Bob Johnson and sister Linda Hooper. Dick will be deeply missed by the many people he touched with his intellect, charm, and warmth.
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