Donald Johnson, 89

Donald Johnson, 89 years, of Hamilton, passed away suddenly, Saturday, January 25, 2020.  Donald was born February 18, 1930, in Carthage, South Dakota, the son of the late Chester and Murna (Snell) Johnson.  Living in the dust bowl, the family moved to Indiana when Donald was 8 years old.  He was a 1948 graduate of Hamilton High School.  He married Leora M. Mortorff on August 26, 1951 in Hamilton, and she survives.  Donald was a very active person.  He loved the outdoors and bird watching.  He had many hobbies, including making knives, blacksmith work, making campfire pokers and dinner bells for benefits.  Baseball was a sport he enjoyed and did some coaching.  He enjoyed baking homemade bread and cinnamon rolls, which he gave away to friends.  He enjoyed painting, and he recently completed a covered bridge.  He painted many pictures of his beloved Jonley Lake near Angola, which he made in 1969.  Jonley Lake is still the family playground in the summer.  Donald was the chairman of the Hamilton Cemetery Board for many years.  Donald retired as an engineer for the Wabash Railroad, Johnson Earthwork and Construction, Superintendent for the Hamilton Water Works, and drove bus for Hamilton Community Schools.

Surviving is his wife of 68 years, Leora of Hamilton; five children, Cheryl Johnson of Hamilton, Linda (Neal) Murden of Angola, Marla Julian of Angola, David (Kelli) Johnson of Hamilton and Lori Zimmerman of Hamilton; eight grandchildren, Brian (Angela) Julian, Ashley (Michael) Caster, Brittany (Darrin) Taylor, Kristen (Josh) Buell, Jamie (Mike) Cushing, Kyleigh (Clay) Selman, Jacob Johnson and Jessie Johnson; 11 great-grandchildren, Haleigh, Paige and Emily Julian, Lucas and Kinsley Taylor, Audree and Penny Buell, Reid and Collins Caster, Ada Cushing and Kaden Selman; sister-in-law, Connie Johnson of Hamilton.  He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; one son-in-law, Randy Julian and one brother, Darrell Johnson.

Visitation for Donald Johnson will be held Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Hamilton United Methodist Church, 7780 South Wayne Street, Hamilton Visitation for Donald will continue Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Hamilton United Methodist Church, where funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. Thursday with Pastor Mike Smith officiating.  Interment will follow in Hamilton Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 3985 East Church Street, Hamilton. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions be made to Hamilton United Methodist Church or to the Hamilton Community Schools Extracurricular Fund.

Condolences may be sent to the family or the online guest book may be signed at

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