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A Special Message To The Family And Friends Of Darilyn Johnson | RIP Darilyn

Rest In Peace Darilyn Johnson

I am sorry for your loss

Today I am numb. I don’t know what to say, how to feel, nothing. I received a message earlier today that a dear friend has passed away. This message is to her friends and family. Her name is Darilyn Johnson and she is without a doubt one of the best title reps I have ever met. While Darilyn’s facebook page fills up with condolences,  I am writing this message to you – her friends and family – to tell you what a profound impact she had on me.

My name is Stephen Garner. I was a title rep as well. My success in the title industry is owed in large part to Darilyn or “D” as I would call her. I met Darilyn during my short stint as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Scottsdale, Arizona. Darilyn was my title rep. She was so damn good at her job that I had no clue there were other title companies – I thought Equity Title was the only one – turns out there was over 60. Darilyn was so good at her job and took care of her clients needs so well, you wouldn’t know she had any competition. Darilyn had no competition.

As a new real estate agent, Darilyn would call and check on me frequently. I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know. We would talk about her beloved “BOB” and my “Jake”. If you look up “dog person” in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Darilyn. She offered to help me at every turn, to introduce me to other agents (with more experience) that could help me as well – Darilyn truly cared about me. I looked forward to my Friday calls from Darilyn asking “Do you need anything for the weekend?” and of course to remember her on line 104 of the Arizona purchase contract.

Darilyn was a trend setter, so may title reps tried to copy her “line 104″ tag-line [a reference to where the title company is entered on the Arizona purchase contract],  when I finally had a buyer I couldn’t wait to put her on line 104. I actually wrote “Darilyn Johnson” on line 104 of the purchase contract! As a new real estate agent I didn’t realize that when she said “remember me on line 104″ she was talking about her company – not necessarily her. I remember the listing agent calling me to say “what is this Darilyn Johnson Title?” We still laugh at that one. I sold 2 houses in my first month as an agent. Shortly after my wife and I decided to move 21 miles south to Chandler. We found out he were going to have a baby and wanted to move to Chandler as the homes were more affordable. I had just finished college and didn’t have any health insurance – not the best of situations. I told Darilyn I would be transferring from the Scottsdale Coldwell Banker to the Chandler office and why. She knew my wife and I were expecting a baby and that I didn’t have health insurance and did something totally Darilyn. Even though I was Darilyn’s client, even though any deals I did in Chandler would have gone to her, she put my needs above hers and told me about a position that had just opened where she worked – at Equity Title – a position with health insurance benefits. Darilyn put me needs above hers. It was Darilyn Johnson that got me started in the title insurance industry.

Darilyn showed me the ropes of being a new title rep. It was only then that I realized there were over 60 title companies in the Phoenix Metro area. I had no clue, she was that good! Darilyn was the #1 rep at Equity Title, she taught me so much about the business, about agents and the market about service. We met every Friday for lunch to discuss my win’s and things I needed to do better with.

Rest In Peace Darilyn Johnson

Our “D”

A little over a year later, I left Equity Title for a position with LandAmerica Transnation Title. We were now officially “competitors” but remained good friends, talking regularly about business, personal, Bob – everything. Darilyn always had her thumb on the market, she always knew what was going on. Shortly after, Darilyn moved on to First American Title and then to Camelback Title and Security Title before taking a position in Idaho with Pioneer Title. We lost touch for a little while but reconnected via facebook.

She would send me pictures of the snow in Idaho and tell me about the market up there, and I would tell her about the real estate market down here in Phoenix. She called and talked to me for over an hour when Jake, my beloved Bullmastiff, passed away last year. Sadly, I had to do the same for her when she made the difficult decision to put her best friend – Bob –  down. We cried and cried as we both remembered our best friends. She told me about her new dog “Billy” and appeared to be getting better.

It was this year that Darilyn told me she wanted to move back to Phoenix and was looking for a job. As luck would have it, I was leaving the title business and was able to refer Darilyn to my boss at Old Republic Title for consideration. Old Republic was considering many people for my position but one phone call with Darilyn and she was flying down for a formal interview. She was nervous but I knew the job was hers to lose. I knew she was in town when I started getting text messages from the escrow officers at Old Republic saying how impressed with her they were. She called me after getting the news – she got the job – and said how fitting it was that she got me in the title business and now I was able to return the favor.

I always considered myself a joker, but when she was in town she got me good, I’m smiling now as a recall our lunch at Red Robin in Scottsdale. As we were eating lunch and discussing her new job I heard applause and the servers saying “we have a birthday…woo hoo!” I looked at her and  said “I would be so embarrassed if someone did that to me”, just as the servers stopped at our table and announced it was MY birthday. 6 servers clapping holding a cupcake with a candle singing “Happy Happy Birthday To Stephen!”. Of course it wasn’t my birthday, and Darilyn stood up and said “Happy Birthday Stephen!” with a smile from ear to ear. We laughed and laughed and I swore I would get her back.

Sadly, I won’t be able to.

I found out today that Darilyn passed away on Friday May 13th. The circumstances surrounding her passing are still fuzzy. I don’t know what happened, where or how. I do know that the news of her passing has touched me to my core. Rather than post a message on her facebook page that will give no context of who Darilyn was to me and what impact she had on my life and career I wanted to tell you – her friends and family. Please feel free to contact me at anytime, I have so many memories of Darilyn that I would be more than happy to share with you during this difficult time.

Rest In Peace Darilyn, You Will Be Missed More Than You Will Ever Know.

Darilyn Johnson June 25, 1966 – May 13th 2011

Your Friend and Protege,

Stephen “MyTitleGuy” Garner


Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Jamie Gobel

    I’m so sad about Darilyn, I knew her more as a little young teen-ager that was always so happy.  I am glad to hear that she stayed true to who she was as a little young person, vibrant,funny,sweet,and beautiful! Such a pretty girl, another young person taken from us way too soon. Darilyn Johnson you will be missed by many.  Love Jamie 

  • Judymoar

    Stephen-what a fabulous tribute to my dear, dear friend. I remember her calling me with the Birthday story and just to let you know-she loved every minute of it!  The lives she touched will never end, so thank you for putting it into words. You will always be with us my best friend.
    Judy Moar
    Please know I will be contacting you, if that is ok

    • katie frahm

      Hello Judy, This is Katie from Portland not sure if you remember me. I just got a call yesterday May 30th that Darilyn had passedand I have no information whatsoever. I got an email a while ago from her when she put Bob down . I responded and never hear back. Could you please email. I know you two were long , long time friends I assume quite possilby BEST friends  ever. I know you two just this year went to the oregon coast together. I am really sorry Judy for all of her friends and family and her little darling nieces who just adored her I am sure. What a great Auntie. She will be missed. I remember loving her mother as well, what a great lady she is and i feel so sad for her and brother Troy. Sorry Judy for you as well to lose such a good , loving friend.

  • Stephen Garner

    WOW. Messages I have received of love for Darilyn are awesome. I wish that she was here to hear from all of us how she effected our lives.  I have been told that there will not be a ceremony. It is my understanding that she will be cremated and have her ashes spread into the sea. If you have heard different please let me (us) know.  Thanks. Stephen

  • David Gullidge

    We were so sad to hear of Darilyn’s passing.  I still can not believe it.  All the tributes to her are will deserved.  We are the insurance agents that have her car insurance.  She recently totaled that car and we do not know what to do with the proceeds.  If anyone knows how to get in touch with her family, please let us know and will will contact them or have them call for David at Farmers Insurance 1-877-439-6301.  Thank You.  David Gullidge