Donald L. Johnson

Donald L. Johnson

7/24/1931 — 8/24/2021

Donald LaVern Johnson, 90, was born July 24, 1931, at Gritman Hospital in Moscow to Ole and Laura Johnson of Genesee, joining his older brother Norm. He passed away Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, at Lewiston Transitional Care Center after a very short period of illness.

Preceding Don in death were his wife Nell, stepson Alan Folkestad, parents Olaf Victor Johnson and Laura Augusta (Rosenau) Johnson, brother Norman Johnson, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Don was the youngest son of a farming family, he grew up and attended school at Genesee, graduating from high school in 1949. He loved cattle, farming, the other farm animals and shared fond memories of life on the farm and of his large extended family and their frequent gatherings. He was an athlete during and after high school, playing football, basketball and baseball. He officiated high school sports as an adult and was an avid sports fan throughout his life, particularly enjoyed watching football, baseball and basketball.

After high school he attended the University of Idaho and worked in Moscow. In 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served honorably for four years until 1955 during the Korean War. During his service he was stationed at Whidbey Island, Wash.; Barbar’s Point on the island of Oahu, Hawaii; and Kodiak, Alaska; his time in the Navy also took him to Guam and the Philippines. He was very proud of his service in the Navy, spoke highly of his Navy buddies, and continued to be a true patriot for his entire life.

He returned home after his discharge and went to work for Latah Grain Growers. In 1956, he married Barbara Carlson from Genesee. They lived for their first few years outside of Troy and had two daughters (Debbie and Kathie), then moved into Moscow. He went to work for Arden Farms in Pullman in 1960 delivering milk to the universities and surrounding rural areas. The family moved to Lewiston in 1969 when he took a job with Garrett Freight Lines and became a truck driver. He and Barbara divorced. He met and married Nell (Cox) Folkestad in 1974 and became a second “dad” to her four children (Vicki, Sandy, Alan, Carol). His job with Garrett moved to Spokane. He and Nell bought a house in Post Falls and made their home in that area. When the freight company closed their doors in Spokane, Don went to work for the Post Falls Highway District driving truck where he worked until his retirement and during the summer for a few years after his “official” retirement.

Don made friends everywhere he lived or spent time. Don and Nell enjoyed fishing, bowling, playing pool, casinos and golfing. They spent several winters in Arizona and returned to their home in Post Falls for the summer months.

Nell passed away in 2015, in 2020 Don sold his house in Post Falls and moved to an apartment in Clarkston where he continued to live independently, still driving, buying his own groceries, cooking, cleaning, and laundry, for himself until his recent illness. He is survived by his daughters Debbie Merkuris and Kathie Otte (Terry) both of Clarkston, two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; stepdaughters Vicki Brisco (Scott) of Gold Canyon, Ariz., Sandy Forsman (Jim) of Moscow, Carol Parker of Coeur d’Alene; 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 2 at Evergreen Cemetery on North Spokane St., Post Falls, Idaho.

Service Information

Date & Time
Thursday, September 2, 11:00 AM
Evergreen Cemetery
2834 N Spokane St.
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

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920 21st Avenue
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
(208) 743-6541 or 800-584-8812