Nature 21

Don Wilkins Johnson

May 2, 1928 ~ April 11, 2022 (age 93)

Obituary

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Don Wilkins Johnson, 93, passed away on April 11, 2022 in his home in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He was born on May 2, 1928 to Samuel Johnson and Clea Olive Wilkins in Belvedere Gardens, California. On April 1, 1939 both his older sister June and his father Samuel passed away from unrelated medical problems. About two years after Don's father's death, his mother Clea married Burt Harvey and the family moved to El Monte California with Clea's 7 living children. They had two more children in the next couple of years, bringing the total to 9 living children.

When Don was in the seventh grade he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was thrown into the air and landed on his head, knocking him out cold. When he awoke, he was sitting in the car that hit him, with a compound fracture and two bones sticking out of the skin of his right leg. He said the worst part of the whole ordeal was not his broken leg, but the fact that the nurse in the hospital ruined his Levis by cutting them off.

When Don was about 15 years old his family moved to a 160 piece of desert land near Barstow, California. They had no water at the house so they bought a large tank and had a delivery truck come out whenever the water tank needed to be filled. There was also no electricity or gas, so they used a wood stove and kerosene lamps, and their bathroom was an outhouse. Under the main house was a nest of rattlesnakes, and Don said they killed 16 the first year.

In 1946, at age 17, he joined the navy and travelled the world. After his time in the Navy he went to a church dance where he met Marilyn Ruth Chase. After 6 months of dating they got married on June 18, 1951 in the Salt Lake Temple, and raised 6 children together: Mark (Kathy), Larry (Sally), Craig (Kim), Gary (Alma), Brian (Glenda), and Renee. They also had 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

After working in construction for 10 years, a good friend of his, who was a chiropractor, convinced him to attend chiropractic college. For 4 years he had to get up at about 4am, study, eat breakfast, and then work in construction until 4 or 5pm. He would then go to a service station, get cleaned up and change his clothes, then attend chiropractic classes until 11pm. After graduating, he put off going into practice as a chiropractor until the early 1970s. His oldest three sons followed in his footsteps and became chiropractors too, and at one time all four were working in the same office.

Don was very active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and put all he had into callings such as Elders Quorum President, Stake Missionary multiple times, Explorer Leader, Scout Leader, Seminary teacher, and Bishop to name a few.

Don was a hard worker, faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He was well known for his positive attitude and was always willing to help anyone that needed help.

Don retired from chiropractic in 2004 and moved to Arizona. He was an avid bike rider, and in 2005, while riding on a wet and slippery road, he took a curve too fast and fell, hitting his head on the concrete and breaking his helmet. This caused bleeding on his brain, which required immediate surgery to save his life. Two weeks after the first surgery, he had to have a second surgery, which put him in a coma for two and a half weeks. A year and a half later, Don and Marilyn moved to Utah to live with their son Larry and his wife Sally.

Dad enjoyed doing genealogy work, and was particularly proud of his Icelandic heritage. So in 2012, his oldest son Mark told him he was going to fly him to Iceland, the birthplace of his grandpa Jon Jonasson and grandma Gudny Sigurdsdottir. When sons Larry and Gary heard out about the trip, they decided to tag along. It was the most amazing trip, and Don had the time of his life visiting places where his grandparents and other ancestors lived and farmed.

Don lived a life of order, promptness, cheerfulness, positivity and generosity that we all aspire to emulate. He will continue to be loved and missed by everyone that knew him.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 11:00 am in the Northfield Ward Chapel, 408 West 1300 North, Pleasant Grove, Utah.  Family and friends may attend a viewing from 10:00 - 10:45 am prior to the services.  Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Don, please visit our floral store.

Recording of Service


Services

Viewing
Saturday
April 16, 2022

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Northfield LDS Chapel
408 West 1300 North
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062

Funeral Service
Saturday
April 16, 2022

11:00 AM
Northfield LDS Chapel
408 West 1300 North
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062

Interment
Saturday
April 16, 2022

12:30 PM
Pleasant Grove City Cemetery
550 North 100 West
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062

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