Donald L. Johnson

Donald L. Johnson

January 8, 1945 – December 7, 2023  

Donald Lynn Johnson, age 78, entered into his final resting place on December 7, 2023, surrounded by his family.  Preceded in death by parents, Henry Arnold and Henrietta Johnson, brother, John Johnson, and in-laws Marvin and Clara Miller.  Survived by Judy Johnson, wife of 59 loving years, son, Greg Johnson (Melanie) of Gretna, son, Kevin Johnson (Kim) of Millard, and daughter Lisa Bolinger (Steve) of Papillion, and grandchildren: Mason, Jake, Lindsey, Kelsey, Sam, and Matthew.

VISITATION: Wednesday, December 13th from 5pm to 7pm at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8009 “Q” St., Ralston.  MEMORIAL SERVICE: Thursday, December 14th at 10:30am, Trinity United Methodist Church with honors by Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard.  GRAVESIDE SERVICE: Thursday, 12:30pm, Omaha National Cemetery with Military Honors by Millard American Legion Post 374 and VFW Post 8334.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for disbursement to local Veteran organizations.

To view live broadcasts of the Services, please visit and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


Donald L. Johnson, 78, entered into his final resting place on Thursday, December 7, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born in Holdrege, NE on January 8, 1945, to Henry Arnold and Henrietta Marie (Franklin) Johnson. Don attended and graduated (barely) from Cambridge High School in 1963. He attended nursing school at West Nebraska General Hospital School of Nursing where he graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1966. While in school he met his magnificent wife of 59 years, Judy. They eloped to Denver and were married on November 23, 1964. In 1965, Don enlisted in the United States Army Nurse Corps, and after graduating he served a total of 5 years of active service at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX; Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC; Fitzsimons Medical Center, Denver, CO; 36th Evacuation Hospital, Veng Tau, Vietnam; and Fort Sill, Lawton, OK. Afterwards he remained in the U.S. Army Reserves for 21 years, advancing and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Don and Judy’s first son, Greg, was born in 1968, while Don was serving in Vietnam, and their second son, Kevin, was born in 1970 while he was stationed at Fort Sill. The family then moved to Omaha in 1971 and he worked as a Registered Nurse at Lutheran Hospital where he started the Respiratory Therapy Department. Don decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Business, so the family moved to Kearney.  Once completed, he was offered a position to start the Respiratory Therapy Department at Bergan Mercy Medical Center, so they moved back to Omaha.  Don continued working at Bergan while also pursuing his Master’s in Public Administration at UNO.  The end of the decade brought an unexpected surprise: Lisa was born in 1979.  In 1985 Don was offered the opportunity to be the Practice Administrator for Radiology Consultants, P.C., the first independent radiological practice in the Omaha Metro area. Working with the partners Don helped build the company by bringing the newest cutting edge technology to the group, resulting in rapid growth. After 23 years of success, Don retired in 2008 to pursue his passions and spend more time with family and friends.

Don’s lifelong passion was gardening, especially carrying on his mother’s love for bearded iris.  Every summer you could find dozens of iris, lilies, and peonies in his backyard garden in full bloom.  His vegetable garden thrived, the fruits of which he shared with family and friends and used to make homemade goods.  Another love that was handed down from his mother was pie making.  He was an award winning pie maker at the Ralston Fourth of July Celebration, winning year-after-year.  From his childhood he also relished spending time in the outdoors, hunting and fishing.  Each year his friends and family would accompany him to various fishing spots: Canada, Alaska, the Great Lakes, Cabo San Lucas, the Gulf Coast, and South Dakota.  If you want to catch the biggest fish, you have to bring the “lucky rabbit’s foot”.  After retiring, in 2009 Don became actively involved in Central Flyway Decoy Collectors and Carvers Club.  He enjoyed carving fish, birds, and feathers, and won multiple ribbons at the Ward World Carving Championship.  You can see some of his carvings displayed at Schramm Park, Cambridge Nebraska Museum, and Mahoney State Park Lodge.

Don’s pride and joy was his family.  He worked hard throughout his life in order to make sure they were well taken care of and felt loved every day. When the kids were young he made time to coach and support their activities, while working full time, reserve duty, and completing his graduate studies.  As grandchildren arrived he and Judy were always willing to babysit and attended sporting events, choir concerts, and ceremonies for all of their grandchildren.  The love of his life was his wife Judy, who managed to keep him towing the line for 59 years.  His love will live on in each of us, every day.


  • Tanya Jones Posted December 10, 2023 12:53 pm

    So sorry for you all. Don was a great man. So sorry we can’t make the service but there in thought and spirit ❤️

  • Pam & Stan Vaughn Posted December 10, 2023 6:17 pm

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We have so many wonderful memories from our 25 years at Trinity. Auction dinners, church dinners, staff parties just begin the list of times shared! What a kind, thoughtful & warm hearted servant of the Lord. May God comfort you & bring you peace.
    Pam & Stan

  • Linda Reeves Hammock Posted December 12, 2023 1:51 pm

    My condolences to the family.
    I first met Don through the Army Reserve. He was an outstanding military leader & was an inspiration to me as I became part of nursing leadership. He was also a family man & I heard several fishing stories with his family that he loved to retell.
    He will be greatly missed.

  • Terri Hammock Posted December 14, 2023 10:13 am

    I first met Don when he hired me at Bergen Mercy hospital in the summer of 1974. I was 16 years old, and my mother who had terminal cancer was a patient at Bergen. She so wanted me to be a nurse.. I remember walking out of the door of the employment office, and saying to myself, I don’t know anything about respiratory therapy…
    In those few years under Don’s caring hand, I learned more about life, death, people, and my future, can I even knew at the time. I’m so grateful, he taught me beyond grief there is compassion, and beyond what you think possible, there’s more.. it is now been 50 year passed .
    My career as an RT has taken me from Bergen to the veterans administration hospital Palo Alto California.. where I care and serve veterans going on 35 years now. I know you’d be proud Don.. and I want to say thank you, my gratitude for you at that time in my life goes beyond any words, sending love and peace to live and family.

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