In memory of Dexter Johnson

In memory of Dexter Johnson

From the beginning, Dexter Johnson was tops in science and academic work every year, even winning silver and then gold in the regional Kangaroo Math Contest held at the University of Lethbridge, while he was in elementary school. Dexter is warmly remembered for his enthusiasm for everything and was even on the front page of the newspaper in a “Eureka” moment during the University of Lethbridge science camp.

He was known for his abilities to make his friends smile or laugh. His friends say that he saved them with kindness during difficult times. He had a diversity of exceptional talents, even cooking, gaming, and outdoor sports. But his greatest enthusiasm was for music. He became strongly attached to his new trumpet in middle school and several times, his dad, Dan Johnson, saw him asleep in bed with his hand resting on the trumpet case beside him.

Although he was an avid hiker, young naturalist, traveler, and famously advanced reader, he liked nothing better than to try a new instrument, as a beginner, and rapidly become skilled at it. A band teacher described him as the most talented musician he had ever trained. Dexter was famous for his enthusiasm for Jazz Band, Concerts, and any time he could play.

A month before his passing, he asked Dan if they could drive to Calgary to purchase a used soprano saxophone he had located. On the way, Dexter told his dad, in a tone asking how he felt, that he had decided to pursue music as a major in university. You would be good at anything, Dan said. He was playing his soprano saxophone and new trumpet upgrade the evening before his sudden and unforeseen death during the night. Everyone who knew him agreed that he would go far and make the world a better place, and we think he did so even in only 15 years.


This award is established in memory of Dexter’s enthusiasm and ever-positive attitude, and each year will be presented to a deserving music student, selected by the Department of Music.