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Donald Johnson

Jul 15, 2012 Staff

Donald Johnson, 74, a longtime resident of Lander, died after a year-long battle with heart and lung problems on Monday, July 9, 2012, at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning, Iowa.

There will be a memorial service at a later date at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Lander.

Donald Leroy Johnson was born March 29, 1938, in Ladysmith, Wis., the son of Maynard and Daisy (Wolf) Johnson.

He was baptized June 19, 1938, at the Lutheran church at Sheldon, Wis. On March 18, 1951, he was confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ladysmith, Wis.

As a young boy, Mr. Johnson's family lived in many places in Wisconsin. He attended kindergarten in Milwaukee, Wis., first grade at country school near Sheld-on, Wis., second grade at Glenflora, Wis., and third grade at Birchwood, Wis. Mr. Johnson began fourth grade in Tony, Wis., and graduated from Tony High School in 1956.

He then studied architectural drafting at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., and worked the next two years as an architectural draftsman for Sheehy Construction in St. Paul, Minn.

He married Joan Marliene Burke on Aug. 27, 1960, at Siloa Lutheran Church near Braham in Isanti County, Minnesota. They had five children.

In 1960, Mr. Johnson was called to the ministry and attended Concordia College in St. Paul, Minn., and Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Ill. On June 5, 1966, he was ordained into the pastoral ministry and began serving as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Ulm, Ark. In 1973, the family moved to Paullina, Iowa, where Mr. Johnson served at Zion Lutheran Church. From 1987 until his retirement Aug. 31, 2001, he served at Bethel Lutheran Church in Lander.

In retirement, he continued to preach as needed for area LCMS churches. His wife, Joan, died Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2011. Because of weather and health concerns, Mr. Johnson then lived with his daughters in Iowa until moving into his own place in Manning, Iowa, in May 2012.

Mr. Johnson was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Lander.

His family said he enjoyed hunting antelope, deer and elk, going fishing, and hunting, cutting and polishing rocks. He also enjoyed feeding and watching birds and other wildlife.

Don Johnson is survived by five children, Jody Syndergaard of Sutherland, Iowa, Marla Kraay-enbrink and her husband Randy of Waverly, Iowa, Amber Neumann and her husband Greg of Manning, Iowa, Carmen Cronk and her husband John of Mallory, N.Y., Burke Johnson and his wife Boni of Manning, Iowa; 15 grandchildren, Kaleb and Jarod Syndergaard, Leah Kreiner and her husband Ryan, Tony Kraayenbrink and his wife Jamie, Jill Kraayenbrink, Ryan, Hannah and Riley Willison, Travis and Markus Neumann, Joel, Sam and Nick Cronk, Jackson and Nathan Johnson; four great-grandchildren, Payton and Nolan Kreiner and Eli and Everly Kraayenbrink; brother Gilbert Johnson and his wife Jean of Ladysmith, Wis.; sister Judy Dappan and her husband Glen of Ruskin, Fla.; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his son-in-law Michael Syndergaard.

Arrangements by the Johnson & Woodhouse Funeral Home in Manning, Iowa.

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