July 27, 1927 - January 29, 2021
Donald Alfred Johnson, 93, went to be with the Lord 1-29-21 add Edgewood Vista Memory Care. Don was born 7-27-27 in Eveleth, Minnesota to Alfred and Bertha Johnson. (Leave it to a “numbers guy“ to be born into this world and exit on palindromes dates.) he graduated from Central high school in 1945, was drafted, went to basic training and then off to Korea serving during the occupation. In 1948 he married Laviere Hanson, his bride of 72 years.
Don worked at Minnesota Power in various accounting positions with an education from DBU for 34 years missing only a half day of work because of a swollen eye. One of his grandsons, Tim, said, “ The cloth he came from is no longer in production.“
In retirement he and Laviere were hired to counsel potential retirees in finances and personal support. He also delivered Meals on Wheels longer than the years he worked, and was a member of the American Legion Post 0558 which met at the First Covenant Church of Duluth. He started the retirees organization AMPS and the Minnesota Club in Mesa with Laviere at his side. “Never yelling, always patient, always helping” said his favorite granddaughter, Carrie, about him assisting with her taxes every year during college.
Don was a long time active member of First Lutheran Church, Duluth, Victory Lutheran Church, Mesa, AZ, and Christ Lutheran Church, Duluth. Singing in the choir at Victory and Christ Lutheran was his worship and passion. He was a man of strong faith in Jesus his Savior and his usual question to his grandchildren was “Have you been going to church? “
In retirement also they became “Snowbirds“ flying to Mesa, AZ half of every year. He loved to play games like golf, bowling, bocce ball, shuffleboard and croquet, and his back porch ring toss set up was always on spot. In the basement of their Lakeside home dozens of trophies shimmered as a testament to their prowess as a duo.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Marge and Phyllis. He is survived by his wife Laviere, his brother Floyd, children Elizabeth (Don) Schlagenhaft, Julianne (John) Wander, grandchildren Carrie (Dan) Finn, Clark Williams, Paul (Carla Guadalupi) Wander, Tim and Luke Wander, great grandchildren Marc and Matias Wander.
Memorials may be made to:
Christ Lutheran Church, 2415 Ensign Street, Duluth, MN 55811
Caring Edge Hospice, 4195 Westberg Road, Hermantown, MN 55811