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Donald "Don" K. Johnson

July 14, 1929 - January 05, 2017

Funeral Service - Monday

January 09, 2017
- 11:00 AM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Visitation - Monday

January 09, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo


Boulger Funeral Home

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Donald "Don" K. Johnson

July 14, 1929 - January 05, 2017


Donald “Don” K. Johnson passed away Thursday, January 5, 2017 at the age of 87 at his home under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

He was born in Medina, North Dakota and was the son of Gilbert and Clara Johnson. He attended a one room school during the first eight years of his formal education and attended high school at Tower City, North Dakota before transferring to and graduating from Fingal, North Dakota High School. Don served in the U.S. Marines during the Korean Conflict although he saw no hostile action. With the aid of the G.I. Bill, he attended North Dakota State University for two years before graduating from the University of North Dakota. He received a Master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 1959.

Don married Janet “Jan” Beattie in Moorhead, MN in December 1959. They raised four children: Mark, Leslie, Lisa and Doug. Don worked for social service agencies in Minnewaukan, Jamestown, and finally Bismarck where he spent the last 25 years of his professional career as the director of various public assistance programs for the North Dakota Department of Human Services. He retired in 1989 shortly after which he and Jan moved to Fargo.

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Don was active in high school sports, particularly basketball and baseball. An amateur baseball pitcher of note, he pitched for the Tower City and Fingal teams and was often picked by teams representing the Maple River League at state tournaments in Jamestown. In 1998, Don was inducted into the North Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. He was an avid bowler. Don played for years on the Red River Valley Senior Golf Tour before health issues forced him to retire from that beloved sport.

Don was a lifelong donor to the United Blood Services and was a long time member of the American Legion. He served for three years on the Board of Directors of the American Public Welfare Association. He held memberships in numerous professional and social organizations and served on many boards. Never one to take himself seriously, Don was a friendly, self-effacing man with an infectious wit, a host of friends, and to whom a “good guy” designation was the ultimate compliment that could be accorded another person. He and Jan loved to travel, having made three trips to Europe and one to South America. They spent many winters in Texas and Arizona.

Don’s parents and only sibling, Ken, preceded him in death. Survivors include his wife Jan, children, Mark (Kathleen), Colleyville, TX, Leslie Johnson and Lisa Johnson of Fargo, ND, and Doug (Katie) of West Fargo, ND, six grandchildren, several nieces and nephews and a sister-in-law, Joan Johnson of Duluth, MN.

Funeral Service: 11:00 A.M. Monday, January 9, 2017 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 10:00 A.M.

Burial: Riverside Cemetery, Fargo.

Don’s family prefers that any memorials be given to Hospice of the Red River Valley or the charity of your choice.


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9 responses to “Donald “Don” K. Johnson”

  1. vern and dolorus krile says:

    Jan and family-I am sorry to hear of Don/s passing away-our thoughts and prayers are with you-I have many fond memories working with Don over the many years at DHS we shared numerous highs and lows throughout the years.I always had a great deal of respect for him and enjoyed working for him-take care and wish you well-vern krile

  2. Mark Minette says:

    I will truly miss my friend Don!!! My thoughts and prayers to Jan and the kids!

  3. Mark Ternes says:

    Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Carol Kurtz says:

    Jan, Leslie, Lisa, Doug, & Mark,
    Keeping all of you in my prayers.
    My deepest sympathies.

  5. Rita Hannesson says:

    My sincere condolences on the passing of your dear father. May you find comfort in the memories created over the years.

  6. Troy Ivesdal says:

    Jan and family,

    Peace to you all during this time. Celebrate the many amazing memories!!

  7. Judy and Alvin Kadrmas says:

    Our thoughts and prayers to you Jan and your family. We were blessed to know Don and to work for and with him. Have so enjoyed reconnecting at our first Friday lunches.

  8. Marilyn Thompson says:

    Dear Jan and family, sending you my deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers. Marilyn Thompson

  9. Ralph and Cleo Thompson says:

    Dear Jan and Family,
    We were sorry to hear about Don, our forum wasn’t delivered Sunday and we missed the notice, Marilyn didn’t read hers until today. We’d have been at the service. We didn’t know Don well, but enjoyed the visits we did have with him.
    Our sympathy to you and yours.

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