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Donald Johnston

May 15, 1940 - June 4, 2020


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Dad - “Pops”.

After a short struggle with a pneumonia and due to circumstances surrounding Covid-19 greatly affecting his dementia, at the Grace Hospital with his daughter Joylynne by his side, Dad peacefully left on his journey to reconnect with family and friends that passed before him.

He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Ida (Gert) Johnston, brothers Bruce (Bernice) Bill and Alexander, sisters Marge (Harold), Kathleen (Don), Dorothy (Rudy), and Jean (Robert), brother-in-law Butch and grand-daughter Jessica.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Donna-Jean (Dave), Kevin and Joylynne (Craig), grandchildren Wendy (Kevin), Stephanie, Brady, Juliana and Noah, great-grandchildren Lucas, Jessica, Hailey and Ryder, sister Florence, brother Jack (Celine), numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and former partner Jessie and her daughter Tammy (Dave).

Born and raised in Gretna, Dad was the fourth youngest of ten children. As a kid he enjoyed cooking and baking with his sister Florence. He also enjoyed helping the family by babysitting many of his nieces and nephews. A vivid memory of Dad’s was when he broke his leg and the scar that it left. One evening after supper, he was ice-skating when someone turned the lights off which made him trip and fall - off to Altona Hospital he went.

At the age of 19, Dad moved to the big city to work for CP Rail where he retired after 37 hard years. Dad also liked helping neighbours with painting their homes. He loved planting flowers and caring for the yards at home and the cottage. He loved his station wagons which were good for hauling food and water to Beausejour where he spent summers and weekends relaxing at and caring for the family cottage. Dad was a kind, giving, social but stubborn person whose smile was infectious. He loved with all his heart. He took care of many people in his life-in various ways and for years at a time-always putting others first.

Dad loved family gatherings and time spent with friends while enjoying some beers. He loved the outdoors, wildlife, music and dancing. In his early retirement years, he spent the summers in Pinawa. He then met Jessie and they wintered in Texas for 15 years until travel became too difficult. Not wanting to weather Manitoba winters, they moved to Kamloops, BC. Dad loved to sit on the porch and look at the mountains while making conversation with everyone that walked by, just as he did everywhere he went. In November 2019, Dad moved back to Winnipeg where Joylynne and her family cared for him daily.

A special thank you to Tammy for helping care for Dad while in Kamloops, Dad’s private homecare friends in Winnipeg-John and Nat and the care teams at both the Grace and Seven Oaks Hospitals.
So sorry Dad that your last wishes of enjoying a beautiful Manitoba summer and visiting your hometown of Gretna didn’t happen.

Cremation is scheduled and a private burial will be held at a later date. A Celebration of Life with family and friends will be held when borders open.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

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