Ezra "Donald" Johnson, 87, of San Luis Obispo passed away after a lengthy illness Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. He was born in 1926 and lived most of his childhood on the family farm in Missouri until the family moved to San Luis Obispo County. After a brief tour in the U.S. Army, Don met and married Beverly Elsner in 1949. Within the first five years they had five children. Don started out as a construction plasterer, until he began his own business as Johnson's Plastering in the 1960s. Later he managed the Union 76 Station on Laurel Lane, and in retirement, he worked the midnight shift at the Telegram-Tribune. He worked well into his 80s and was always a dedicated worker. During Don's lifetime, he bowled six perfect 300 games! Until just nine months ago, you could still find him bowling twice a week at the Pismo Bowl. His other hobbies included raising beautiful orchids - you could find orchids of every color and size inside his two commercial sized greenhouses. If he wasn't bowling or working in his greenhouses, he knew where all the great fishing holes were! The family would like to thank the staff at Dignity Health Hospice. Don is survived by his children Barbara Johnson Olsen-Wells of Palm Springs, Calif.; Donna Johnson Ponce (Salvador) of Pioneer, Calif.; Daniel Wayne Johnson, Gary C. Johnson and James Michael Johnson (Connie) of San Luis Obispo; 16 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. Don was very proud of his two grandsons, now serving in the U.S.M.C. - Jarrett Johnson is about to deploy to Australia, and Brandan Johnson will be serving in Afghanistan for two more months. Don's family will all remember his bright smile, great hugs and generous heart. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly; son, Gary; and grandson, Brian. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Don's life to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at the Reis Mortuary Chapel, 990 Nipomo in San Luis Obispo. Burial will be private. Reis Family Mortuary 544-7400 San Luis Obispo
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Feb. 12, 2014