Donald R. Johnson

April 29, 1934 ‒ August 27, 2016

Marion, Ohio

A family man through and through, Donald R. Johnson, age 82, of Marion, died Saturday evening, August 27, 2016, at Marion General Hospital following a three and a half year battle with colon cancer.

On April 29, 1934, Donald was born in Kirtland, Ohio, one of two sons of the late Roy and Blanche (Steffee) Johnson.  He graduated from Hudson High School in the class of 1952.

During high school, Don first had his hat stolen by a young lady in school, Edna DuChene, and shortly thereafter she also stole his heart.  In one another, they found their best friends and soul mates.  They were married on November 18, 1953, and have cherished every moment of their sixty two years together.

In 1957, Don was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army, assisting with their motor pool.  He and Edna were stationed together at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Upon his honorable discharge, Don began working for the Village of Hudson as their only member of the street department and for the Chrysler Corporation in their plant protection department.  In 1969, Don began working for Paige’s Auto Wash Stations, traveling from town to town to install their car wash systems.  After earning their trust, in 1971, Don was asked to not only install a new car wash system on State Route 95 in Marion, Ohio, but also to manage it, which he did with pride for twenty years.  He truly loved his faithful customers at the car wash.  Later, he worked for several years in research and development at TODCO Overhead Truck Doors and Ramps, until his retirement.

A jack of all trades, there wasn’t anything Don couldn’t build, especially if it was automotive.  He started with designing and building playhouses for his daughter, Tracie, and go carts and mini bikes for his sons: Donny and Johnny.  Then, as his children grew, so did their toys…making a barn for Tracie’s horses, and motorcycles for the boys (until Donny ruined it for Johnny) then moving up to Don helping them build their own Ford Mustang convertibles.  One of his favorite places was in the garage, where he would tinker for hours on end.

Caring for everything he owned, Don loved to tend to his yard and land.  He started by tending to a large garden too, which later turned into a go cart track.

Having a huge heart for animals, Don loved his many canine companions he has had over the years.  He would even read the Columbus Dispatch every day, giving special attention to the section for dogs in need of a good home.

In his younger days, Don attended the Church of Christ in Hudson, Ohio, and also in Marion.

Don’s proudest achievement in life was by far his family!  His life revolved around his wife and children, and anything they were involved in.

Embodying the best qualities of a man, Don was a gentleman who was extremely strong and stern when it was needed.  He also was soft hearted, and showed you every day that he cared.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Edna Johnson; three children: Tracie (Michael) Zucker, Donald “Donny” (Dianna) Johnson II, and John (Kimberly) Johnson; “adopted” daughter, Cheryl (Dave) Folk; five grandchildren: Lindsay (fiancé Wesley Parson) Sharrock, Joseph Zucker, Teena (Michael) Kasler, Juan (Jaime) Clayton, and Tonya (Steve) McElree; 7 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Including his parents, Don was preceded in death by his brother, Richard Albert Johnson.

His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, at the Gunder/Hall & Snyder Funeral Home, 347 W. Center St., Marion.  Services honoring his life will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, at the Caledonia Church of Christ, 300 N. Main St., Caledonia, with Elder Ted Watt officiating.  Military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council will follow his services at the church.  Interment will take place at a later date in Marion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice, 685 Delaware Ave., Marion, OH 43302, or to the Marion Area Humane Society, 2264 Richland Rd., Marion, OH 43302.

Gunder/Hall & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Don’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • Don will be missed. He was a wonderful husband, father, and dear friend to our family. Our condolences to the entire Johnson family.

  • We are so sorry for your loss. We are lifting your family up in prayer during this difficult time. You are loved.
    Doug and Cindy Lovas

  • So sorry to hear of your loss. May God (Psalms 83:18) comfort all of you during this difficult times. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

  • Many great memories growing up centered around Don and his family!
    He and Edna were definitely an inspiration to the kind of love and marriage everyone dreams of!
    Love to you all!

  • I very much enjoyed every chance I had to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and always felt welcome in their home. My family and I are deeply saddened by his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family.