Donald E. Johnson

Donald E. Johnson, 95, and lifelong resident of Mancelona died January 19, 2023.

Don was born in Mancelona, Michigan on March 8, 1927, the fourth child of Minnie (Johnson) and Oscar V. Johnson.

He attended Mancelona schools, graduating in 1945.

He was drafted and served his country at the end of World War II. After being discharged from the Army in 1947, Don went to work in Detroit for Michigan Bell Telephone Company. 

In 1948 he married the love of his life, Ruth Chapman, and the two moved back to Mancelona in 1950. They celebrated their 75th anniversary just before his passing.

After working in the office of Mt. Clemens Metal (later known as Dura Automotive) he owned and operated Johnson’s Hardware in Mancelona for nine years. In 1969 he began working in the children’s unit at the State Hospital in Traverse City, retiring in 1989.

He was a long-time member of the Mancelona United Methodist Church where he held many different offices and taught Sunday school and was a member of both the vocal choir and the English handbell choir.

He enjoyed woodworking, keeping a garden, and fishing. Perch was his favorite, and he’d fish all summer to have enough fish for an end of summer fish fry with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, his daughter, Laurie (Mike Allison) of Mancelona, his son-in-law, Denny Hanysak of Arlington, TX, and daughter-in-law, Kathy Johnson of Bellaire. He leaves behind six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews who will miss his sense of humor and his storytelling.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his children, Jan (Hanysak) and Scott, his grandson, Aaron Hanysak, and his sisters, Helen Grace Brugger, Margaret Rutter, and Dorothy Flodin.

Visitation will be held at Mortensen Funeral Home in Mancelona on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 at the Mancelona United Methodist Church with a visitation one hour prior to the service and a luncheon immediately after. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Mancelona United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 301, Mancelona, MI 49659.


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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 313
Bellaire, MI 49615
Phone: 231-533-5651
Fax: 231-533-4662
Physical Address: 
4470 S. M-88 Hwy.
Bellaire, MI 49615

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