JOHNSON Donald W. Johnson, Commander, United States Coast Guard Reserve (Retired) 87, passed away peacefully on September 14, 2012. His beloved wife of 44 years, Elizabeth M. "Bettye" (Tiernan) Johnson was at his side. Born in Cochituate on January 31, 1925, he was the son of the late Carl and Florence (Wright) Johnson. A resident of Bourne for 28 years, he wintered in Ellenton, FL for many years. He was educated in Natick and Cambridge and attended Boston University. A veteran of World War II, he served in the United States Army, Army Air Corps, in the North African campaign, and later as a reservist with the U.S. Air Force. He transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as a lieutenant, later retiring as a Commander. Commander Johnson started his career in fire prevention as a firefighter with the Cambridge Fire Department, leaving as a lieutenant. As a resident of East Swanzea, NH, he served as the town's fire chief. He advanced his career as a fire protection engineer at Factory Insurance Associates and retired from Industrial Risk Insurers as a district supervising engineer. Mr. Johnson was a member of the American Legion- Bourne chapter, past president of Reserve Officers 007 of Cape Cod, lifetime member of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and volunteer at Falmouth Hospital. He was a dog fancier and a member of the Companion Animal Program on Cape Cod and the MSPCA. A lover of the sea, he was past flotilla commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Braintree Yacht Club. In addition to his wife, Elizabeth M. "Bettye" (Tiernan) Johnson, survivors include his grandchildren, Sarah Block and Kasey Johnson, great-grandchildren Ella and Colby Block, Dylan, Cora and Thomas Johnson, all of Colorado. He leaves two brothers-in-law, Richard E. Tiernan of Needham and William F. Tiernan and his wife, Ann, of Plymouth. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. His two Brussels Griffons, Sergio and Andrea, were his beloved pets. Mass will be celebrated by his spiritual advisor and dear friend, Rev. Andrew Kozanko Friday September 21, at 12:30 PM at the Otis Memorial Chapel Otis Air Force Base, Bourne. Visiting Hours will be September 21 from 10:00 A.M. to Noon. Due to strict regulations on the base all who wish to attend must go in procession from the funeral home. He was predeceased by his brother, Arthur Johnson, and sisters Ruth Blanchet and Marjorie Mutter. "Fair winds and a following sea...”
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Published in Boston Herald on Sept. 19, 2012