Editor's Note: Much of this notice was contributed by Frank LaMar, DDS.
Dr Paul Johnson of Lubbock, Texas, a long-term member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), and his wife, Marcia, died in a plane crash on Monday, March 20, 2006. Dr Johnson was believed to be piloting a twin-engine plane that went down near the heart of Branson, Missouri. Two other passengers, also from Lubbock, perished in the crash.
Paul Johnson was an honorable and dependable colleague, friend, and implantologist. He was an Honored Fellow of the Academy, earning that distinction in 1998. He was active both academically and politically in the AAID and served as its president in 2002. During his term of office, the AAID's annual meeting was reported to have had the largest attendance of any prior to that date. His other signal contributions to our organization included serving as Chair of the Global Committee which took him to France, Germany, and Brazil. His very presence brought significant levels of professional respect and recognition to the AAID.
Prior to his untimely death, he and his wife, Marcia, were planning to carry the message and good will of our academy to Germany and Ireland. Dr Johnson's reputation transcended that of innovator, practitioner, academician, and teacher. He was also widely acknowledged to have been a diplomat, a lecturer, an optimist and an enthusiastic family man. He continued to study so that he would be able to transmit the most topical aspects of implantology to those who were fortunate to have been his students.
Dr Johnson was a highly gifted and competitive athlete, a runner long habituated to marathons and other contests of strength and strategy. At the time of his death, he was the reigning Gold Medal World Masters Champion in the 400 meters for his age group. He was also a member of the World Masters Relay team in the 800 and 1600 meter events.
Paul Johnson's death has drawn dozens of letters from here and abroad from colleagues and patients, from pilots and passengers, from runners and walkers alike. Paul and Marcia are survived by three children, including two sons who worked in Dr. Johnson's office. He and Marcia also had five grandchildren. However, their devotion extended far beyond their family and friends. They were devout members of their church and were eulogized there shortly after the fatal accident.
I have had the privilege of being one of his closest friends and I write this obituary with overwhelming sadness. I hope, for all of us who are grieving, that the passage of time will help to assuage the great pain of our loss.