Donald Ray “Papa” Johnson

Donald Ray “Papa” Johnson, 66, of the Highlands, Texas, passed away unexpectedly, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Kingwood, Texas, just three days short of his 67th birthday. He was born on March 19, 1954, in Lamesa, Texas to the late Joe and Margaret Johnson.

When Don turned seventeen, he left school to join the United States Air Force, proudly serving and defending his country toward the end of the Vietnam Era. While in the USAF, he worked on the airfield with freight and cargo.

Don worked as a superintendent in the oil and gas industry. He worked for more than twenty-five years combined with Exxon and Aegion Corporation before entering into semi-retirement. Don was an extremely hard worker who enjoyed doing the work that he did. He won numerous safety awards and enjoyed his extended work family, always keeping them entertained.

Don was a selfless, humble, faithful, and honest man, who loved unconditionally. He was dedicated in his faith with the Lord. Don was also a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to many. He enjoyed the simple things in life like family gatherings, spending quality time with his family, grandchildren, and friends. Don was an amazing storyteller, keeping the interest of so many around him with his tall tales. He was an avid Trump fan, liked watching FOX News and talking politics.

Don was a simple man, who enjoyed the simple things in life like being at home. He was fond of listening to music, especially Vern Gosdin and he was extremely passionate about barbeques. Don and his wife Donna enjoyed living on the San Jacinto River in an RV resort where he was able to fish, barbeque, and swim in the pool. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who knew and loved him.

Don was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Margaret Johnson; his brothers Carroll and Bill Johnson; and his great-grandson Tanner Fief. He leaves behind to cherish his loving memory, his wife of eighteen years, Donna Wittneben Johnson of Highlands; his daughters Melissa Keyes and husband Blake of Burr, Dawnette Joines of Boling, Jessica Fief and husband Brad of Dayton, Fallon Shelton and husband B.J. of East Bernard; his grandchildren Kylie Vega, Asia Kucera, Kyndal Vega, Brayden Kocian, Karris Keyes, Jaden Shelton, Jaylon Shelton, and Case Shelton; his great-grandchildren Taylor, Elijah, and Tristan Fief; his siblings James “Turk” Johnson and wife Eve, Avery Johnson and wife Beverly, Sarah Kresta and husband Chris and Matthew Johnson and wife Becky; his lifelong best friend Dale Dancer; his numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.

It was Don’s wishes to be cremated and his cremated remains to be scattered over the San Bernard River and for his family to have a big BBQ party at a later date.

To send flowers to Donald’s family, please visit our floral store.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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