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Medical 05


Dale Kelley Johns M.D.

July 15, 1930 ~ April 2, 2019 (age 88)

Dr. Dale K. Johns passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Dr. Johns was born on July 15, 1930 to Howard and Fern Johns of Youngstown, OH. He received his bachelor’s degree from THE Ohio State University, followed by a DVM from OSU. He was a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserves Veterinary Corp until being honorably discharged on June 14, 1963. He then received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA in 1960. He went on to complete a residency and fellowship in Neurosurgery and began practicing in 1966 in Miami, FL. He and his family relocated to Destin, FL in 1992 and he began a thriving practice.            

In Miami, he pursued his life-long dream of becoming a sailor. He purchased his first sailboat, the Lusty Lady, and completed an around-the-world voyage.              

In 1978, he met Kathy Rowan, a cardiovascular ICU nurse at Palmetto Hospital in Miami. They were married March 16, 1982. They shared 37 years of love, partnership and adventure.

In addition to sailing around the world, Dr. Johns sought exploration in every corner of the world. He visited every continent and over 80 countries. He was part of an expedition to New Guinea to discover a new tribe. Together, he and Kathy led a life of unbelievable adventure. They completed a 21-day trek to the Everest Base Camp, Nepal, in 1983.  They shipwrecked their sailboat, the Endeavor, in the Red Sea off of Sudan, were rescued by a Norwegian cargo ship and brought to Port Said, Egypt. Their journeys together were unparalleled.

Dr. Johns was a devoted physician for 59 years. He was well-respected and appreciated by his colleagues and patients. He truly loved his work, his patients and making a positive impact on people’s lives.  

Dr. Johns is survived by his wife, Kathy, his children Ann (John), Dale Jr., Jessica and Devon, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Marilyn, of Santa Fe, NM. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend who touched and saved countless lives.

He is also survived by his favorite pet, a wolf-husky mix named Koda. He had a soft-spot in his heart for all things wolf.

A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held Thursday, April 25, at WaterVue in Fort Walton Beach, FL. The memorial service will be at 5pm, followed by a reception from 5:30 to 7:30pm. WaterVue is located at 203 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to:

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation:

The Human Society of the United States:

Seacrest Wolf Preserve:

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