Donald W. Johnson, 85, Brainerd, mortician and former owner of Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home in Brainerd, died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2001, at St. Joseph's Medical Center.
He was born Aug. 10, 1916, in Brainerd to Nels and Rosella (Anderson) Johnson. In 1922, his family moved to Pine River. He attended school in Pine River until the family moved to Crosby in 1932. He graduated from Crosby high school and the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science. He worked at funeral homes in Minneapolis and Oakes, N.D. He returned to Brainerd in 1938 and was employed at the Whitney Funeral Home. He served as a master sergeant during World War II from Aug. 27, 1942, to Dec. 4, 1945. He was with the First Army landing on Utah Beach and served through Normandy and other parts of France, Belgium and Germany. He married Judith E. Holm on June 11, 1943, in San Fernando, Calif. After the war, he returned to the Whitney Funeral Home until 1954 when he joined the Halvorson Funeral Home as funeral director and manager. He became a partner on March 1, 1956, and the business was renamed Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home. He was honored in 1987 by the state of Minnesota for 50 years of continuous service as a licensed mortician. He retired from funeral service in 1992. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, the National Selected Morticians, the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, Masonic Lodge No. 100 AF and AM, Masonic York Rite Bodies, Aadzuhman Shrine, Brainerd Elks Lodge, American Legion Post No. 255, VFW Post No. 1647, Sons of Norway, Alpha Chapter No. 23, Order of the Eastern Star, the Brainerd Rotary Club and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and Alumni Club, past director and member of the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce and former board member of the Brainerd YMCA.
Survivors include his wife; and a son, Bruce Johnson, Chicago.
A brother, Ernest Johnson, died earlier.
Services will be 3 p.m. Monday at Bethany Good Samaritan Village in Brainerd with Pastor Lilja Behr officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.
Friends may call from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home in Brainerd and an hour before services Monday at Bethany Good Samaritan Village in Brainerd.
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