DEFOREST – Donald R. Johnston Sr., age 76, passed away on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at UW-Hospital, Madison after a long struggle with diabetes.
Don was born on February 29, 1936 in Dodgeville, WI, to Donald L. and Wilma (Evans) Johnston. He graduated from Dodgeville High School in 1954 and graduated valedictorian from University of Wisconsin School of Engineering (Platteville) in 1959. He served in the United States Army in Ft. Lee, Virginia, from 1959 to 1962. He then worked as a civil engineer for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Transportation, until his retirement in 1997.
Don was an avid outdoorsman for most of his life. He enjoyed bow and rifle hunting, fishing, boating and camping. He was a strong supporter of the state and national park service; he was a life-long contributor to many conservation and preservation efforts. Don also enjoyed working with wood, gardening and crafts. He found his passion for art late in life, and made beautiful handmade cards, displays, gifts and ornaments for his children, grandchildren and friends. He often taught craft classes to his friends at his beloved Parkside Assisted Living in DeForest. He loved Wisconsin, and especially Dane County, living most of his life in or around the Madison area. His quiet strength and intelligence will be missed by many.
Don is survived by his sons, Donald R. Johnston Jr., Brian (Melissa) Johnston, Kevin Johnston; his daughter Nadine (Jerry) King; three grandchildren, Lauren Johnston, Cory Johnston and Madison Johnston, all of Florida; brother Dave (Karen) Johnston; sisters Margariette (Bill) Vatter, sister Gladys Johnston, all of Dodgeville; sister Carol (Martin) Connell of Mineral Point; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Jack (Emily) Johnston and sister Edith Johnston; his nephews Mark and Bruce Johnston; his niece Ashley Connell; and nephew Travis Johnston.
Funeral services will be held at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 6924 Lake Road, DeForest, WI, 53532, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2012, with Rev. Jerry Ewings officiating. Burial will follow at Norway Grove Cemetery, DeForest. Visitation will be from 10am to 11am on Saturday at the funeral home.