Donald S. Johansen

Date of Birth

Nov 22,1921

Date of Death

Dec 14,2006

DONALD S. (Stewart) JOHANSENage 85 of Geneva, IL, passed away Thursday evening, December 14, 2006 at his home. Though he lived with cancer for twelve years, his battle came down to the last four months with a disease that was deeply painful, but could not steal his spirit or sense of humor. BORN / EARLY YEARSHe was born November 22, 1921 in Geneva, IL the son of Fred and Edith (Lundberg) Johansen. His family operated the Elburn Modern Dairy and Don attended Elburn High School where he graduated with the class of 1939.MILITARY Soon after graduation, he entered the Army where he served as a medic and was stationed in the Philippines and Okinawa during WWII. MARRIAGE & FAMILY Returning home from the service, Don married Shirley Dawn Seyller on Nov. 22, 1946 at the Geneva Lutheran Church. Their first home in Geneva was built by Don’s grandparents. Later, they built the present family home less than a block away. EMPLOYMENTDon delivered milk for forty-six years beginning in 1930 at the age of nine. He would deliver milk before school and often race to beat the school bell. In the early years, milk was only half the job. Cutting and delivering ice from the Fox River was the other. Though he was strong, Don’s "back" never forgot that job and he lived with back pain all of his adult life. On the milk route, no one would have guessed how his back felt for Don was the "singing milk man" (and stand-up comic). When you heard a song on the back porch, you knew this milk man was coming in and the day was about to brighten up. Don was like a member of the family in dozens of households where he walked in the house, checked the ice box and simply left whatever was needed. More than delivery, Don was a helping hand too. Funny how he seemed to arrive just when a light bulb needed changing or "on his way" he would drop something off to friends across town. Then again there was the lady who couldn’t undo her seat belt and a host of other unbelievable needs that were "all in a days work" for Don. Far from the milk route was Don and his tropical fish – not just a tank full for fun, but fifty-tanks for profit. Don raised and sold tropical fish and was widely known for his expertise. Following retirement from the dairy, he worked another ten and a half years as a custodian for the Geneva School District. It was a job he loved and wished he had discovered years earlier!The singing milk man was also a great dancer. Don and Shirley loved ballroom dancing and enjoyed many nights at the Blue Moon in Elgin and the Batavia Moose Lodge #682, where Don was also a member. MEMBERSHIPSDon was a member of the Geneva Lutheran Church, the Elburn American Legion Post #630 the Teamsters Local #673 and the Geneva Boys Club. Although he left the dairy business behind many years ago, Don kept his ‘milk route", delivering smiles and good humor, to retirement centers and nursing homes wherever old friends could be found. SURVIVORS In addition to his wife of sixty years, Shirley, he leavesTwo children: Donna Staley of St. Charles, IL and Frederick Johansen of Twin Lakes, WI;One grandson, Scott (Keri) Staley of Chicago;Two sisters, Martha Morris of Batavia and Priscilla (Doug) Miller of Lord’s Valley, PA;One sister-in-law, Elaine Johansen of DeKalb,Several nieces, nephews and cousins and a countryside of dear friends. PRECEDED He is preceded in death by his parents, one brother, John Johansen; one brother-in-law, Paul Morris and one grandson, Collin Staley.MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Donald’s name to benefit Hospice and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Donald Johansen Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at For information call 630-365-6414 or visit

Visitation will be held Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at the Geneva Lutheran Church, Third and Franklyn Streets, from 9 am until 10:30 am. Funeral services will follow at 11 am.

Committal services will conclude at Oak Hill Cemetery, Geneva, IL. The Rev. Gordon Straw, of the Geneva Lutheran Church, will officiate.

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