Donald “Don” William Johnson, age 83, of Escanaba, passed away Tuesday morning, June 1, 2021 at OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba with his family at his side. He was born to William and Lina (Malila) Johnson of Mass City, MI, in Hancock, MI on October 22, 1937. Don attended Mass High School and graduated in 1955. He then attended Suomi College in Hancock on a basketball scholarship and received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern Michigan University in 1959. He taught in the Perkins School System and Jeffers High School in Painesdale for several years. Don joined State Farm Insurance as an adjuster in 1966 where he worked for the next 31 years before his retirement. He was married to Kay Linna in the little country church in Paynesville in 1962. They moved to Escanaba with their two children in 1969 and have resided there since. Don was an avid sportsman and fan. He was a member of the Mass High School basketball team that won the State D Championship in 1955. He loved a good game of golf and had three holes-in-one during his career. In his younger years, he was a remarkable amateur baseball pitcher. Don was a great fan on all Detroit pro teams and followed Michigan State and the University of Michigan basketball and football. He and his wife, Kay, travelled extensively throughout the world. They wintered in Florida for many years. Don was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba and the Escanaba Country Club.
Donald is survived by his wife, Kay Johnson; daughter, Janine; son-in-law, Harry Powell; grandson, Brent Johnson; and three great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Donald was preceded in death by two sisters; two brothers; and son, Dean.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday, June 7, 2021 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Donald will follow at 4:00 p.m., Monday, with Rev. Terry Frankenstein officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services. Burial will take place in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Bethany Lutheran Church or the Delta County Cancer Alliance. A great sense of gratitude to the wonderful care given to Don by the nursing staff of OSF St. Francis Hospital who attended to him, and to the dedicated hospitalists who directed his care, as well as the personnel of the oncology unit. Their compassion and wisdom will long be remembered.
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Bethany Lutheran Church
202 South 11th Street, Escanaba MI 49829
Delta County Cancer Alliance
3430 Ludington Street, Escanaba MI 49829