Donald Johnson

Obituary of Donald Ray Johnson

GOUVERNEUR- Donald Ray Johnson, age 85, of Gouverneur, NY, passed away on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at the Iroquois Nursing Home in Syracuse. Due to the current pandemic, services for Don will be private at French Funeral Home, Gouverneur. Condolences may be shared online at www.frenchfuneralhomes.com. Donald was born on December 9, 1934 in Ogdensburg, NY to the late Sterling and Pearl (McCrea) Johnson. He attended local schools in Heuvelton. On October 13, 1956, he married Cynthia Bell at the Notre Dam Catholic Church in Ogdensburg. Don was an operating engineer, working on heavy equipment operation and road construction for most of his career. He had 60 years of service with the Local International Union Operating Engineers, Local 545. Early in his career he worked on several historical undertakings to include the St. Lawrence Seaway Project, the Niagara Falls Power Project, the St. Lawrence Robert Moses Power Dam, the Gilboa Dam Power Project, and the St. Joe Mineral Mines. Later in his career he worked many years for McKenna Paving in Norwood. He also worked together with Mike Shippee and Roy Young with their Tar Heels Paving Company. He was a jack of all trades and a bit of a workaholic. He always kept himself busy, offering his help to anyone who needed it. He was never one to sit still. When Don took a break from his work, he and Cynthia would head out to the front porch of their home around 4 pm to split a beer, always with an open invite for friends and neighbors to join them. As a father, he patiently took the time to teach each one of his children the skillsets to be independent by passing on his knowledge of carpentry, auto mechanics, electrical wiring, and the mindset that when you do something, you do it right the first time and don't cut corners. Don never looked for praises and was never one to boast. He just went on quietly working, for those he loved the most. Don is predeceased by his fraternal twin brother Ronald. But make no mistake, Don could pass as an identical twin to his younger brother Robert (Bob), with whom he had an extra special bond, and remained close to throughout his entire life. Surviving is his wife, Cynthia; two daughters and sons-in-laws, Dianne and Ed Meyer and Karen and Mark Wilton; two sons and daughters-in-law, Gary and Sheila and Scott and Gail; a brother, Robert and Shirley Johnson; and nine grandchildren, Joey, Jacki, Gary M., Kristopher, Joni, Phillip, Sebastian, Stephanie, Stacie, Mitchell and Rachel and 12 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Don is predeceased by a son, Timothy Johnson; three brothers, Charles, Allen and Ronald (his twin); and three sisters, Edna Pike, Dorothy Johnson and Alice Cougler. Donations may be made in Don's memory to the Gouverneur Rescue Squad.
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