Donna  Johnson
Donna  Johnson

Obituary of Donna Helene Johnson


May 6, 1932 – November 18, 2023

86 Year Resident of Santa Cruz County


A private committal is arranged for longtime Santa Cruz resident Donna Johnson who passed away peacefully at her son’s Aptos home at the age of 91. Born in Marysville, California, she moved to Santa Cruz with her family as a youngster.  Donna attended Soquel Elementary School, Mission Hill Junior High School and graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1951. While in high school, Donna was a lifeguard at the Plunge and a member of the Synchronized Swimming Team.


Following high school, Donna married Duane Johnson who was serving in the US Air Force and the couple resided in southern California for a time.  Duane preceded her in death.


Donna raised her four children in Santa Cruz after returning in 1959.  Her children attended Laurel Elementary where Donna was actively involved in the PTA.  Summers were spent exploring local sights, camping in the mountains and up to British Columbia, and at the beach with her friends and children.  Donna made sure everyone could swim and respected the ocean and it’s bounty.  No one could cook abalone like she could! She had an early career at Sylvania and later with Plantronics for many years after raising her children whom she always kept close to her.  


Donna maintained a close relationship with her high school friends throughout her lifetime.  They traveled extensively in Europe with additional trips to China and Bali.  Donna enjoyed new horizons and was always ready for a trip - either a cruise to Alaska, a flight to Hawaii or a trip Vegas. The lunch gatherings with her former schoolmates were special moments as they shared in each other’s joyful and challenging times. 


She will forever be remembered by her loved ones for her selflessness as a mom; ensuring her children received the best she could provide and aways an encouraging word. She was a much beloved grandmother who cherished every moment spent with her grandchildren, sewing, cooking or teaching them to drive.  Donna has left a wonderful example of how family is of paramount importance in one’s life, and leaves them all with that blessing and focus on Family Traditions.  Her Children and Grandchildren are the 4th generation to make Dill Pickles - and will continue to do so!


She is survived by her children Wendy and Warren Grande of Aptos; Lezlie Johnson and Mark Isaacson of Monterey, Renee Johnson of Aptos, Eric Johnson and Mary Beth Kramer of Aptos with 6 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren and her brother Ferdinand J Tihista of Watsonville.


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