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Mt Calvary Lutheran Church
629 9th Ave
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 692-2678
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Donald Johnson


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donald Johnson Obituary
Donald Johnson

Donald Dale Johnson, son of Adolph and Martha (Schlieman) Johnson, was born February 4, 1925, on their farm northwest of Hartford, SD; where he grew up. Don joined his family and friends at their heavenly home on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at the United Living Community. Funeral services will be 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookings with burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Visitations will be from 5-7 P.M., Monday, July 10, 2017, at Eidsness Funeral Home with a prayer service at 6:30 P.M.

Don attended grammar school at Grand Meadow School, District 91 (a one room school) and graduated from Hartford High School in 1943. He worked his way through South Dakota State College, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Agronomy and minoring in Chemistry. While attending SDSC, he was initiated into the Alpha Zeta Fraternity.

As a member of the plant identification and crop judging team, he represented SDSC in the district contest held in Kansas City and the national contest held in Chicago.

In April of 1950, Don qualified and was eligible to become a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. After graduation from SDSC his first job of employment in 1950, was as an Assistant County Agent for Beadle County, Huron, SD. While there, he helped organize the Beadle County Crop Improvement Association and worked in developing the Rural Youth Program and 4-H activities. In 1956, Don joined the sales staff of Sokota Hybrid Producers as an area supervisor. At that time, he became one of the 69 Sokota Hybrid Producers owner growers as a partner with Glen Nachtigal, a college friend and another Sokota employee. Don contracted Sokota seed production with area farmers, which require a labor crew to pull tassels in such fields. His god-children: Scott, Gregory, Curtis and Tammy Teal; and his nephews: Todd, Daniel and John Maursetter were part of his detasseling crew.

In 1968, Don was promoted to sales manager for Sokota Hybrid Producers. He was later elected to the Board of Directors of Sokota Hybrid Producers and then as secretary treasurer. In 1985, Sokota Hybrid Producers was sold. Shortly thereafter, Don started farming property he owned near Wentworth, SD. Don enjoyed good machinery, primarily John Deere, and keeping up with the trends. His farming partner was his god-son, Gregory Teal and later, 2001 or 2002, Greg's son, Matthew became a junior farming partner.

Don was active in his church, serving on the financial committee for 45+ years. One of his most valued honors was an invitation to join governor Bill Janklow's 2002 Annual South Dakota Invitational Pheasant Hunt. He was one of the founding members of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, serving on the board of directors.

Don's interest in the youth, found him serving as a trustee on the South Dakota State 4-H Foundation. He enjoyed fishing, boating, farming, checking growing crops, fighting weeds, and hunting pheasants and deer. In his day, he hunted moose in Canada and elk in Idaho. In his travel ventures, Don has been to England, Scotland, Spain, North Africa, Hawaii and Bahamas.

Don is survived by his nieces, nephews, and special friends. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Jarda and Nila, and three brothers, Alton, John, and Robert.

Note—If one truly believed—death, is our heavenly home and in the presence of Jesus Christ, God, and meeting up with all those who have gone before—perhaps one should celebrate not mourn, and feel envious that one needs to wait to enjoy the joy, pleasure, and experience that Don has now and of those who have gone before.
Published in The Argus Leader on July 8, 2017
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