Pasadena Humane Mourns Passing of Board Chair

It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of Steve Johnson, Chair of the Pasadena Humane Board of Directors. After many years valiantly fighting cancer, Steve lost his battle this morning. He was just 61 years old. 

A lifelong animal lover, Steve joined the Pasadena Humane Board of Directors in 2013 and served as Board Chair since 2018. Steve became involved with Pasadena Humane after moving to the area in 2002. He adopted his beloved cat Winston from the shelter in 2003. In addition to his volunteer board service, he participated annually in Pasadena Humane’s signature fundraising events, the Wiggle Waggle Walk and the Doglegs, Birdies and Eagles golf tournament.

Under his leadership, the Board ushered in a new era of more progressive sheltering. Steve led approval of an ambitious three year strategic plan in December of last year and the adoption of Socially Conscious Sheltering as the organization’s guiding philosophy. 

On a personal note, Steve oversaw the organization’s most recent executive transition that resulted in my becoming President & CEO in June, 2019. He has been incredibly supportive both personally and professionally as I have transitioned into this role.

One of the things that inspired me most about Steve was his support of our hard-working staff. Steve recognized that working in animal welfare could be an emotionally challenging job. He was dedicated as much to our staff as to the animals, and he always worked to ensure the wellbeing of our employees. Nothing exemplifies this more than his commitment to retain all staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Steve’s passing, Beverly Marksbury has been appointed interim Board Chair. Beverly has served on the Board of Directors since 2013, as Vice Chair since 2015, and is currently Co-Chair of the Development Committee and a member of the Golf Tournament Committee. In addition to a professional career in the Federal and Los Angeles Superior Courts, Beverly has been active with many community organizations including the Tournament of Roses, The Pasadena Showcase House and The Colburn School. She is also guardian to three adopted cats, Charlie, Duncan, and Sam. 

I am confident that Beverly will continue to provide the same dedicated visionary leadership for our organization and the same commitment to compassion and care for all animals. 

We send our deepest condolences to the Johnson family and all of Steve’s loved ones. We are so thankful for everything Steve did to save the lives of animals in our community, and we will miss him deeply.  He will live in our hearts forever.

With appreciation at this sad time, 

Dia DuVernet

President & CEO 

Pasadena Humane


To donate to the Steve Johnson Memorial Fund, please visit