Donavon Johnson, 1935-2017

Published 1:00 am Monday, October 23, 2017

A memorial service for Donavon “Donnie” L. Johnson will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Bonnerup Funeral Service in Albert Lea.   The Revs. Roger Haug and Janet White will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and again one hour prior to the service on Thursday.

Donnie died Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, after a courageous battle with a cancerous brain tumor.

Donavon Johnson

Donnie was born in Thompson, Iowa, on Jan. 14, 1935, to Selma and Gilman Johnson.  He was baptized in Thompson and confirmed in Emmons at Emmons Lutheran Church.  He attended grade school in Joice, Iowa, and graduated from Emmons High School in 1953.

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On Sept. 8, 1956, he was united in marriage to Patricia “Pat” Swanson at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. They made their home in Albert Lea, Thompson, Emmons, Hayward and then returned to Albert Lea in 1966. Donnie and Pat celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2016 and celebrated at Green Lea Golf Course, a place Donnie and Pat cherished. Donnie was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. He was also a member of the Eagles and past member of the Moose, Archery Club and Local 6 Union.

Donnie worked at Emmons Hatchery, Queens, Streater and then Wilson & Co. for 31 years, retiring in 1989. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with his gun and also his bow.  He started golfing when he was 65 years old and immediately loved the sport — even getting three hole-in-ones along the way! He liked coffee time with his buddies, watching sports on TV and riding motorcycle for many years, taking Pat on numerous trips with other motorcycle friends.

Donnie is survived by his wife of 61 years, Pat; daughter, Debbie (his little pumpie), and her husband, Roger “Peanuts” Christensen; nephew, Mark Sorenson, and his wife, Diane, and their family; nieces Kris Hanson and her husband, Kenny, and family, and Karen Gillespie and her special friend, Doug Schulz, and her family; along with many other loving relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Sally and Gil Johnson; his in-laws Bob and Milly Schiager; his brother, LeRoy; sister, Geraldine, and her husband, Dwayne Sorenson; and many aunts and uncles.

The family would like to thank the hospice department at Mayo Clinic for its tremendous help. All the help was greatly appreciated.