First Responders 08

David Frank John

June 15, 1935 ~ March 9, 2021 (age 85)


David Frank John went to be with heavenly father on the morning of March 9, 2021 at the age of 84 from his long fight with Parkinson’s. On this day, in the White Mountains of Arizona, where David called home, it snowed. It is said that if it snows when someone has passed on, that person lived a good life. No one could have imagined that it would snow, it was unexpected.

You see that’s the thing about David John we can all agree. There is not just one person who can tell a one-all story about him. David has many stories that echo across the land where he once stood.

David was the ideal family man. Always giving advise to family and friends if they so needed it, willing to lend a helping hand. Devout to the teaching of the book of Mormon, from which he recited and translated into Navajo (Diné Bizaad), his native language. He was Naashashí Dine’é (Bear/Bear Enemies/Tewa) born for Tábąąhí (Water’s edge/Among the Waters) born on the Navajo reservation amongst the cottonwood farms of Newcomb, New Mexico to Jim John and Ruby Yee-kah-nih-bah in the year 1935. He had two older brothers, Wayne and Frank, and older sister Maxine. At age two he lost his mother, then his older brothers, Wayne and Frank to Tuberculosis. He would later welcome his stepsister Christine and his stepbrothers Billy and Richard. Growing up as a poor Navajo boy was not easy for David. He began working at a young age on the railroad by picking up railroad spikes. Seeing the importance of going to school he attended the Indian School in Phoenix, AZ where he met his first wife Phyllis Cook. They created their family, together they had a son, Eugene, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Elouise. Later he would remarry to Eleanor Cromwell and have his adopted daughters Loraine John, Dora Caddo, and Maxine Cromwell.

The name David John also known as DJ, Mr. John, or Officer John has a different meaning to the people who have known him throughout his life. To these people it was an honor and a privilege to have known him. Much of the people of the White Mountains new him when he was an officer of the law in the White Mountain Apache Police Department before retiring after 32 years. Prior to his service for WMAT Police Department, he briefly served in the Navajo Nation Police Department. He gave such honor and respect to his fellow officers, which was also given to him in return. In his many years of service, David responded to the call of the public to protect and serve. Putting his life on the line for the people of Whiteriver, Cibecue, and his fellow officers. Although, he officially retired from the WMAT Police Department, David continued his dedication to hard work as a Security Officer (SAM22), for the Hon-Dah Resort Casino for 13 years. To have empathy and compassion for those he protected. His service is an example of honor, strong moral character, integrity, and exemplary selflessness. He has made his family so very proud to say, “I am related to David F. John”.

Today David is survived by Richard John (brother), Eugene John (son-biological), Elizabeth Smith (daughter-biological), Elouise John (daughter-biological), Loraine John (daughter-adopted), Dora Caddo (daughter-adopted), Maxine Cromwell (daughter-adopted), 16 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, four traditional goddaughters, and foster children from across Arizona and New Mexico. His legacy of being an honest, good, hard worker is instilled in his descendants.

David is preceded in death by Jim John (father), Ruby Yee-kah-nih-bah (mother), Wayne John (brother), Frank John (brother), Maxine John (sister), Christine John (stepsister), and Billy John (brother).


David is in the care of Silver Creek Mortuary. Funeral Services will be Monday March 15, 2021 at 10am with a private viewing for family at 9am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Aspen Ward 4075 Buck Springs RD Pinetop, AZ. Burial to follow at Hon Dah Cemetery. Farewell David John, you will be missed.

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