We are sad to announce that our partner, Jay Johnson, has passed away after a long courageous battle with cancer.
He will be greatly missed by our Firm, his clients, family and friends. Please extend condolences to his surviving wife, Beth Burrows. She hosted a celebration of life event at their home on Sunday, March 12th.
“Jay Johnson departed the pattern on 16 February 2023, leaving a trail of joy, laughter, and love, which improved the lives of the multitude of friends and family whom he touched and fulfilled throughout his life. An avid hunter who was most at peace casting a fly-fishing line, Jay was generous with his time, helping anyone in need or going out of his way to support a worthy cause whether big or small.
After graduating from Palmetto High School in 1982 with his fellow Vulcans, Jay attended the United States Naval Academy where his impact on friends, particularly in 24th Company, was profound and life-long. Earning a degree in mechanical engineering like his big brother Dan, Jay received his commission as a Naval Officer in 1986 and was off to flight school in Pensacola where he trained as a P3 Orion navigator. He served our country most honorably before a serious medical condition cut his service short.
Jay pressed on to the next opportunity to make a difference. After earning his law degree from the University of Oklahoma, he enjoyed a long and highly successful career as a patent attorney in intellectual property – starting with Baker & Botts, where he became partner, and eventually establishing his own firm with fellow partners.
Jay’s physical stature prevented him from ever avoiding notice. Yet his presence was uniquely unassuming, while at the same time unquestionably commanding. His natural curiosity drove him to understand deeply and avoid rash judgment. There was a vibrancy in his humility and a steady ease in his joy for life that uniquely attracted everyone to him.
Jay is pre-deceased by his father Robert Johnson and survived by his dear mother Shirley Johnson, loving wife Beth, son Brooks and his fiancé Megan Murphy, step-son Jack Burrows, brother Dan and sister-in-law Deb and nephew Zach. Being in Jay’s presence always made us happier. He was an amazing human being, enigmatic and unapologetic in the boldness of his easy-going attitude. He helped us to keep everything in perspective and avoid taking ourselves too seriously – famously saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can go ahead and blow off today…” His unyielding love for family and friends comforted us, affirming that we always had a reliable man in our corner who would go to any length to support us. We now imagine he is fly-fishing on the Gunnison River every day from heaven…Fair winds and following seas….
A celebration of a life well lived will be held at home on Sunday, 12 March 2023 from 2-5pm.”