Donald Eugene Johnson, 82, of Hendersonville, died Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at Hendersonville Health and Rehabilitation after a brief illness.
He was born on May 18, 1930 in Marion, Ohio; and was the son of the late W. Lloyd and Ada Johnson. He is also preceded in death by a brother, Rex OíBrien, and a grandchild, Anthony Malone.
Don graduated from Marion Harding High School in 1949. While in school, he was involved in numerous sports and the choir. He also took some classes at Case Western and Ohio State where he became an avid Buckeye Fan. From 1950 to 1954, Don served in the US Army and was stationed in Augsburg, Germany. He played minor league professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds organization. While in Marion, he coached little league baseball for many years and was a strict disciplinarian but with his love of baseball was a great coach. He was employed by the Pollack Steel Company and Armco Steel Company; holding the position as superintendent of the mill a job held by his father and grandfather. He and his father had a cottage in Canada, which he enjoyed for 30 years. He loved to fish and taught all of his children how to fish and all about boat safety.
He married Beverly Mackay on May 5, 1978 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Marion. He and his wife Bev were owners of Graphics Gallery at The Barn an art gallery and frame shop from 1983 to 1996. They then retired to Hendersonville in 1996. Don & Bev are members of Grace Lutheran Church.
He enjoyed church activities, golfing with his ìOver the Hill Gangî, fishing, dining with friends, woodworking, and gardening. He made beautiful furniture for his wife, which she and his family will cherish. He had a great sense of humor and to the end had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile for everyone including, his nurses, his friends, his wonderful neighbors, and his family. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
He leaves behind his wife and best friend of 34 years, Beverly Mackay Johnson; five children from his former wife deceased Patricia Dixon Johnson, Matthew Johnson and his wife Lynne of Dundee, OH, Jay Johnson and his wife Cathy of Marion, OH, Kyle Johnson and his wife Jennifer of Ventura, CA, Lori Riley and her husband Michael of Marion, OH, Connie Allen and her husband Ronnie of LaRue, OH; an additional daughter, Molly Sills and her husband Joe of Winston-Salem, NC; 16 grandchildren, Gray, Katie, Ryan, Whitney, Kate, Amy, Garrett, Ashley, Mandy, Courtney, Jessica, Rebecca, Bridget, Joshua, Jacob, and Bayley; ten great-grandchildren; four nieces; two nephews, and his dog Libby.
A memorial service to celebrate Donís life will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Grace Lutheran Church. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the Church. His ashes will be placed in the church Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to: Four Seasons Compassion-for-Life, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731, Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 28739, Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.