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Donald C. Johnson

Donald C. Johnson, 79, accepted his call heavenward to be with Jesus, as he was surrounded by his family on March 10, 2007, after a three-year struggle with ALS.

Donald C. Johnson, 79, accepted his call heavenward to be with Jesus, as he was surrounded by his family on March 10, 2007, after a three-year struggle with ALS.

In 1927, Don was born to Enoch and Myrtle Johnson in Idaho. He was raised on the Herman Johnson family homestead in Lake Nebagamon. As a teenager he spent three summers sailing on the ore ships of Lake Superior.

In 1945, Don graduated from Central High School in Superior. Then he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and served until 1955.

He returned to northern Wisconsin and earned a bachelor's degree from University of Minnesota, Duluth. There he met and married Kathleen Trebilcock and had their first son. The couple moved to Milwaukee and had four more sons.

After working for 12 years at AC Delco, he accepted a transfer and became the data processing manager of Delco Electronics in Santa Barbara, Calif. He taught evening computer science courses for Santa Barbara City College, after earning his master of business administration degree from Golden Gate University.

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He retired in 1985 and enjoyed visiting with family and friends, traveling and spending summers at the cabin with Kay.

Don is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Kathleen of Santa Barbara; and five sons and their wives, Jay and Sheri of Modesto, Calif., Paul and Amy of Santa Barbara, Craig and Roni of Salinas, Calif., Mark and Mary of Ventura, Calif., and James and Kristina of Encinitas, Calif. Grandchildren from Jay are Beth White (Jerrid), Jeffrey Johnson (Natalie) and their children, Zander and Drake, and Joshua Johnson. Grandchildren from Paul are Hannah, Joel, Caleb and Emma. Grandchildren from Craig are Mitchell, Erica and Cade. Grandchild from Mark is Trista and grandchild from James is Luke. Also, surviving are Donald's brothers and sisters, Beatrice Otdoerfer Rockford, Ill., Robert Johnson (Virginia) of Aurora, Ill., Dorothy Demar of University City, Texas, Gordon Liljegren (Janet) of Burbank, Calif., and Sally Fiandt (Bill) of Rochester, Minn.

Don had a soft heart, an adventurous spirit and compassion for all. His sense of humor kept us smiling, and his faith led us to Jesus. He will be greatly missed.

A graveside service open to family and friends will be held Aug. 4 at 11:15 a.m. in the Lake Nebagamon Cemetery followed by visiting at the House of Hope, formerly Lake Nebagamon Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that memorial donations be made in Donald's name to ALS Association ( www.alsa.org ) or the House of Hope.

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