OBITUARY

DONALD G JOHNSON

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Donald G. Johnson, 88, of Hanahan, passed away Monday, December 25, 2017. He was born on July 27, 1929 in Johnsonville, SC to the late Victor and Mable Grier Johnson. He was a 30-year Veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served from 1948 -1978 with the last several years in the submarine service. After retiring in 1978, he obtained his real estate license and started his second career as a real estate investor actively managing his properties until his death. His compassion for his tenants was well known as his legendary slogan was “When it gets to be about the money, we are in the wrong business.” He was a member of Highland Park Baptist since 1964 and a member of the Carolina Masonic Lodge #375 in Hanahan. Don Johnson - (like Miami Vice) as he often told people - was an avid golfer until he lost most of his sight due to macular degeneration a few years ago. He belonged to several senior golf groups throughout the low country and loved competing. He was widely known for his putting prowess. After making a long putt, one of many, he would look to the sky and yell in pure delight “Mama Mia”. When his son Gary retired they spent countless days participating in golf events almost always riding in the same cart. Don found it humorous when, so many others wanted to play in their foursome, Don would wonder why? Gary would remind him,” Its simple, we always bring the beer and we share”. With Don Johnson on your team or in your life there was never a dull moment or a silent one. Despite his vision loss he loved driving his golf cart, “the buggy” around Hanahan. Regular stops included a haircut at Farley’s barber shop and was still grieving the retirement of Philp Farley. He also enjoyed driving to Pappy’s, tipping his favorite cook, Brenda. Always had to give her a little extra because she needed it more than him. Don also got prescriptions at CVS, groceries at Price Wise and household items from Blackwell’s hardware saying you must shop there and driving him in his Lincoln you must go through the full-service pump at the Amoco gas station. Would say, even if you spend more money we got to keep them in business. Each year, without fail, he would ask Gary to take him to the Hanahan Exchange oyster roast, buy a ticket, never eat an oyster, “you do know they are clusters not selects”. He came to support the community, see old friends, and drink a few beers,” make it a Bud please and heaven forbid not a light one”! He was an accomplished gardener, growing grapefruits, lemons, and oranges in Hanahan for years and even made the Post & Courier one year with his amazing stalk of bananas. He loved to fish, to travel, and dine out, making friends with restaurant workers, especially bartenders, whom he saw regularly, sharing stories just making each other feel special. So many knew Don Johnson and when he came in, the whole place was just a little more festive. He loved life and never met a stranger being a positive inspiration to all who knew him and always very thankful of how blessed his life was saying he felt like he was living heaven on earth. Having spent his early childhood at Epworth Orphanage in Columbia SC, along with three of his siblings, he was so proud of their success and longevity, especially his own significant accomplishments. He followed the stock market daily as an excellent investor. He enjoyed discussing and sharing stock tips at every opportunity. Never at a loss of words on any subject and his constant mispronouncing of words was hilarious. He just had to mention the t in his Merlot wine and forget having him say correctly, please give me a glass of that Cabernet Sauvignon. Following the death of his wife of 43 years, Betty Jean he took on the role of Patriarch for both sides of the family. He was a loving and caring husband, father, brother, father-in-law, grandad, great-granddad, uncle, friend, patron, and landlord. He took constant care of his extended family, making regular phone calls, sending cards on any occasion providing advice, a listening ear and sharing pure love. Late in life Don reunited with his first girlfriend Ann Roberts from his orphanage days back in the 1940s. They spent years enjoying a companionship of traveling, dining out and attending family events. His weekly viewing of Joel Osteen was a must, just loved the positive motivation. He had a knack for remembering the one joke from each sermon sharing with others commenting if it was a good one, not so good or a repeat. He will be missed by all who knew him, especially his children, whom he talked to several times, yes, several times a day! The void will be immeasurable but also will be the memories and the thankfulness for having so many years with not only a special father but the best friend one could hope for leaving all truly blessed. Don was preceded in death in 1994 by the love of his life, his wife of 43 years, Betty Jean Hanna Johnson, and by his son, Donald Edward Johnson, in 1959. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Victor Johnson of Jacksonville, FL, Bill Johnson of Georgetown, SC, and sisters, Mable McClory of Philadelphia, PA, Juanita Held of Kalamazoo, MI, and Jackie Flynn of Walnut Creek, CA; and granddaughter, Carol Rae Phelps Canterbury. He is survived and will be sorely missed by his daughter, Carol J. Knight; daughter, Nancy (Ed) H. Naranjo; son, Gary (Donna) W. Johnson; grandchildren, Nick (Faith) Johnson, Heather (Eric) Averette, Eddie Phelps; and great-grandchildren, Avery Louise Weld, Luke Phelps, Austin Creech, Dale Canterbury, Jr., and Haley Phelps; brother, Clarence (Rosaline) Johnson, Hilton Head, SC, sister, Frances (Don) McElveen of Hartsville, SC; along with so many special nieces and nephews from around the country. A true celebration of Don’s life will be held on Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11:00 am at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home, 7113 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC. The family will receive friends and relatives one hour prior to the service (10:00 am) at the funeral home. Entombment will follow the funeral service with Military Honors in the Carolina Memorial Park Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your favorite charity. Don’s included Alzheimer’s, Highland Park Baptist, Epworth Orphanage and St Jude’s.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, December 30, 2017
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 30, 2017

Memories

DONALD G JOHNSON

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Mayor and City Council of Hanahan

January 11, 2018

Please accept our heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your loved one. Your family is in our thoughts and in our prayers. Mayor Minnie Newman and Hanahan City Council: Christie Rainwater, Joel Hodges, Dan Owens, Jeff Chandler, Mike Dyson and Michael Sally.

Stephani Johnson

December 31, 2017

I wish everyone had been given the opportunity to know my Uncle Donald Johnson. He was an incredible person, Uncle, brother and known as Dad to our counsins; Gary, Carol and Nancy. He was loved and admired by all who knew him.
Our hearts will always miss him.

Bill Dixon

December 29, 2017

On behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (USSVI), I offer our sincere condolences on Donald's passing. You and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers. We are forever grateful for Donald's service to our country in the U.S. Submarine Service. To our Brother we say, Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. May you rest in peace and may God bless your loved ones who remain. Thank you for your service to our country.

"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way" 2 Thess 3:16

Donald G. Johnson, US Navy, Now on Eternal Patrol.
Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate.

Bill Dixon, National Chaplain United States Submarine Veterans, USSVI.







Jean Singletary

December 28, 2017

Gary, Carol, Nancy & extended family - my deepest sympathy ... Don was a character who loved his family deeply. He spoke of you often & was so proud of all your accomplishments. Don respected and served his country honorably - he will be missed,

Nancy Montgomery

December 28, 2017

Nancy, Gary, Carol and family,

George and I were so sorry to hear of your Dad's death. I am so glad we got to meet when he visited y'all in Greece. His obituary was beautifully written and a wonderful capsule of his life. I remember him giving me a tour of his prized garden that he was so proud of. I will never forget the time he mailed my sister Lora lemons when she once made the comment she wouldn't buy them if they were over a quarter each.

Thanks for including us in some of your family events and we will always remember the time he treated us to breakfast at his beloved Pappy's. I know he will be sorely missed by all.
Nancy & George Montgomery

David,Donna Dennis

December 28, 2017

Gary ,Karen so sorry for your loss of your Dad you and the family will be in my prayers

Michael & Lisa Johnson

December 28, 2017

Uncle Don's obituary perfectly describes him.

Uncle Don was uniquely created by God!
In my relatively short 62 years I have never met anyone as colorful and full of life as Don Johnson. He lived every day to its fullest. Playing golf with Don was anything but a quiet affair. He played golf "His Way" long before Jack Nicklaus wrote his book of the same name. Uncle Don's 4-wood off the tee was legendary as were his unique and very effective chipping and putting styles. The way he addressed a putt and cut across it to put a "positive" move on the ball was the way Uncle Don approached life, always positive & bold! He loved to have something on the line when we played even if only a dime to make it more interesting. His unique exclamation of "Sooey, routine par!" is legendary. Don added spice to life everywhere he went. He was genuinely the life of the party even when there was no party. His upbeat and positive attitude was contagious lifting the spirits of everyone. Uncle Don loved people and people loved him. He was blessed to have family so close physically and emotionally to him after his retirement in 1978. He was able to remain in his own home and had no serious illness. Uncle Don could not have planned a better exit than to have his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with him all day on Christmas day. I think he called in a favor from God! Uncle Don cannot be replaced but cherished for the times we had with him and the memories created.

December 28, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. He was my favorite Uncle and I truly loved him. He also made me feel good so good when I talked to him, Will surely miss him. Love you, Alice

Betsey & Richard Colton

December 27, 2017

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Donald G. Johnson, 88, of Hanahan, passed away Monday, December 25, 2017. He was born on July 27, 1929 in Johnsonville, SC to the late Victor and Mable Grier Johnson.

He was a 30-year Veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served from 1948 -1978 with the last several years in the submarine service. After retiring in 1978, he obtained his real estate license and started his second career as a real estate investor actively managing his properties until his death. His compassion for his tenants was well known as his legendary slogan was “When it gets to be about the money, we are in the wrong business.” He was a member of Highland Park Baptist since 1964 and a member of the Carolina Masonic Lodge #375 in Hanahan.

Don Johnson - (like Miami Vice) as he often told people - was an avid golfer until he lost most of his sight due to macular degeneration a few years ago. He belonged to several senior golf groups throughout the low country and loved competing. He was widely known for his putting prowess. After making a long putt, one of many, he would look to the sky and yell in pure delight “Mama Mia”. When his son Gary retired they spent countless days participating in golf events almost always riding in the same cart. Don found it humorous when, so many others wanted to play in their foursome, Don would wonder why? Gary would remind him,” Its simple, we always bring the beer and we share”. With Don Johnson on your team or in your life there was never a dull moment or a silent one.

Despite his vision loss he loved driving his golf cart, “the buggy” around Hanahan. Regular stops included a haircut at Farley’s barber shop and was still grieving the retirement of Philp Farley. He also enjoyed driving to Pappy’s, tipping his favorite cook, Brenda. Always had to give her a little extra because she needed it more than him. Don also got prescriptions at CVS, groceries at Price Wise and household items from Blackwell’s hardware saying you must shop there and driving him in his Lincoln you must go through the full-service pump at the Amoco gas station. Would say, even if you spend more money we got to keep them in business. Each year, without fail, he would ask Gary to take him to the Hanahan Exchange oyster roast, buy a ticket, never eat an oyster, “you do know they are clusters not selects”. He came to support the community, see old friends, and drink a few beers,” make it a Bud please and heaven forbid not a light one”! He was an accomplished gardener, growing grapefruits, lemons, and oranges in Hanahan for years and even made the Post & Courier one year with his amazing stalk of bananas. He loved to fish, to travel, and dine out, making friends with restaurant workers, especially bartenders, whom he saw regularly, sharing stories just making each other feel special. So many knew Don Johnson and when he came in, the whole place was just a little more festive. He loved life and never met a stranger being a positive inspiration to all who knew him and always very thankful of how blessed his life was saying he felt like he was living heaven on earth. Having spent his early childhood at Epworth Orphanage in Columbia SC, along with three of his siblings, he was so proud of their success and longevity, especially his own significant accomplishments. He followed the stock market daily as an excellent investor. He enjoyed discussing and sharing stock tips at every opportunity. Never at a loss of words on any subject and his constant mispronouncing of words was hilarious. He just had to mention the t in his Merlot wine and forget having him say correctly, please give me a glass of that Cabernet Sauvignon.

Following the death of his wife of 43 years, Betty Jean he took on the role of Patriarch for both sides of the family. He was a loving and caring husband, father, brother, father-in-law, grandad, great-granddad, uncle, friend, patron, and landlord. He took constant care of his extended family, making regular phone calls, sending cards on any occasion providing advice, a listening ear and sharing pure love. Late in life

Don reunited with his first girlfriend Ann Roberts from his orphanage days back in the 1940s. They spent years enjoying a companionship of traveling, dining out and attending family events. His weekly viewing of Joel Osteen was a must, just loved the positive motivation. He had a knack for remembering the one joke from each sermon sharing with others commenting if it was a good one, not so good or a repeat. He will be missed by all who knew him, especially his children, whom he talked to several times, yes, several times a day! The void will be immeasurable but also will be the memories and the thankfulness for having so many years with not only a special father but the best friend one could hope for leaving all truly blessed.

Don was preceded in death in 1994 by the love of his life, his wife of 43 years, Betty Jean Hanna Johnson, and by his son, Donald Edward Johnson, in 1959. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Victor Johnson of Jacksonville, FL, Bill Johnson of Georgetown, SC, and sisters, Mable McClory of Philadelphia, PA, Juanita Held of Kalamazoo, MI, and Jackie Flynn of Walnut Creek, CA; and granddaughter, Carol Rae Phelps Canterbury.

He is survived and will be sorely missed by his daughter, Carol J. Knight; daughter, Nancy (Ed) H. Naranjo; son, Gary (Donna) W. Johnson; grandchildren, Nick (Faith) Johnson, Heather (Eric) Averette, Eddie Phelps; and great-grandchildren, Avery Louise Weld, Luke Phelps, Austin Creech, Dale Canterbury, Jr., and Haley Phelps; brother, Clarence (Rosaline) Johnson, Hilton Head, SC, sister, Frances (Don) McElveen of Hartsville, SC; along with so many special nieces and nephews from around the country.

A true celebration of Don’s life will be held on Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11:00 am at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home, 7113 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC. The family will receive friends and relatives one hour prior to the service (10:00 am) at the funeral home. Entombment will follow the funeral service with Military Honors in the Carolina Memorial Park Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your favorite charity. Don’s included Alzheimer’s, Highland Park Baptist, Epworth Orphanage and St Jude’s.