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Born: May 15, 1940

Date of Passing: Jun 04, 2020

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May 15, 1940 - June 4, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Dad - "Pops".
After a short struggle with a pneumonia, and due to circumstances surrounding Covid-19 greatly affecting his dementia, at the Grace Hospital, with his daughter, Joylynne, by his side, Dad peacefully left on his journey to reconnect with family and friends that passed before him.
He was predeceased by his parents Frank and Ida (Gert) Johnston; brothers Bruce (Bernice), Bill and Alexander; sisters Marge (Harold), Kathleen (Don), Dorothy (Rudy) and Jean (Robert); brother-in-law Butch; and granddaughter Jessica.
Left to cherish his memory are his children Donna-Jean (Dave), Kevin and Joylynne (Craig); grandchildren Wendy (Kevin), Stephanie, Brady, Juliana and Noah; great-grandchildren Lucas, Jessica, Hailey and Ryder; sister Florence; brother Jack (Celine); numerous nieces and nephews; cousins; and former partner Jessie and her daughter Tammy (Dave).
Born and raised in Gretna, Dad was the fourth youngest of ten children. As a kid, he enjoyed cooking and baking with his sister, Florence. He also enjoyed helping the family by babysitting many of his nieces and nephews. A vivid memory of Dad's was when he broke his leg and the scar that it left. One evening after supper, he was ice-skating when someone turned the lights off which made him trip and fall - off to Altona Hospital he went.
At the age of 19, Dad moved to the big city to work for CP Rail, where he retired after 37 hard years. Dad also liked helping neighbours with painting their homes. He loved planting flowers and caring for the yards at home and the cottage. He loved his station wagons, which were good for hauling food and water to Beausejour, where he spent summers and weekends relaxing at, and caring for, the family cottage. Dad was a kind, giving, social but stubborn person, whose smile was infectious. He loved with all his heart. He took care of many people in his life - in various ways and for years at a time - always putting others first.
Dad loved family gatherings and time spent with friends, while enjoying some beers. He loved the outdoors, wildlife, music, and dancing. In his early retirement years, he spent the summers in Pinawa. He then met Jessie, and they wintered in Texas for 15 years until travel became too difficult. Not wanting to weather Manitoba winters, they moved to Kamloops, BC. Dad loved to sit on the porch and look at the mountains while making conversation with everyone that walked by, just as he did everywhere he went. In November 2019, Dad moved back to Winnipeg, where Joylynne and her family cared for him daily.
A special thank you to Tammy for helping care for Dad while in Kamloops, Dad's private home care friends in Winnipeg - John and Nat, and the care teams at both the Grace and Seven Oaks Hospitals.
So sorry Dad that your last wishes of enjoying a beautiful Manitoba summer, and visiting your hometown of Gretna, didn't happen.
Cremation is scheduled, and a private burial will be held at a later date. A Celebration of Life with family and friends will be held when borders open.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Friends and relatives are encouraged to share in a photo-tribute, stories, and condolences for the family by visiting Donald's memorial page at

Cremation & Funeral Planning
204-295-5408 –

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 13, 2020

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • Sorry to hear about Don. Myself and my family remember him as always being a kind and gentle man. My sympathies to his children and grandchildren. - Posted by: Shirley Weiss (Old friend ) on: Jun 22, 2020

  • So sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was our next door neighbor in Magic Valley and was always ready for cocktails. We miss his neighbor visits. He's at rest and in a good place now - Posted by: Marg Metereo/Jim Johnson (Texas neighbors ) on: Jun 20, 2020

  • So sad to hear of your passing Don, mom and I were looking forward to seeing you this summer. Now you can have those beers with my dad again in heaven. Rest in Peace Don, you will be missed. - Posted by: Michelle Sweeney (Friend of Don's) on: Jun 15, 2020

  • I am sorry for your loss, I am sure Grandma Kay, my mom and dad were there to welcome him to heaven. Sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Bill Cooley (Kay’s Grandson) on: Jun 14, 2020

  • He was the kindest soul ever. I met him later on in years but he never had an unkind word to say. He had much love for his kids and showed me pics of his grandkids. Could talk about stories for days, if we let him =) ! His spirit of kindness, giving nature is what I’ll remember and keep with me as the best in humanity. He always treated my children (Jessie’s grandchildren) like gold. Tried to make them laugh and put them at ease during visits. He came to visit us on the west coast and my parents enjoyed his company a lot too. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family. Much love from us to you on his behalf. His light has dimmed but I’ll only remember him at his happy times most of which were speaking of you all in pride. - Posted by: Irene C (Friend / family of Don (Jessie)) on: Jun 13, 2020

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