Mr. Donald Lawrence Johnston

  • Born: June 5, 1948
  • Died: January 19, 2013
  • Location: Desert Hot Springs, California

Rose Mortuary & Crematory

66424 Pierson Blvd.
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Tel. (760) 251-7673

Tribute & Message From The Family

Donald Johnston

Donald L. Johnston

June 5, 1948 – January 19, 2013

Born in Long Beach California to Mary and Bruce Johnston, growing up in the Long Beach area. He is survived by his parents, a sister, Claudia Rizzo, Nephew John Rizzo and a niece Jaclyn Rizzo and many, many friends.

He graduated from Lakewood High School in 1965, from Long Beach City College in 1971 and from University of Southern California in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

He came to the desert in 1984 to assist the family business and through the years became a bartender working throughout the Coachella Valley. He became an avid golfer (witness his email address, ( residing in Mission Lakes Country Club until his death.

He was deeply religious and used to go to hear Dr. Gene Scott until Dr. Scott's death. He was an avid reader and followed all types of sports on TV and newspapers. He always read his horoscope, which on the day of his death read as follows: "What if your path is not a path at all? You are already at the destination."

A memorial is planned for February 2, 2013 at 2:00 P.M. at the Desert Hot Springs Elks Lodge at 64680 Pierson Boulevard, Desert Hot Springs, California.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Elk State Major Projects would be appropriate. Send to BPOE 2639, 64680 Pierson Boulevard, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240.

Arrangements are under the direction of Rose Mortuary, Desert Hot Springs, California.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Very sad to hear of Don's passing. We were brothers in Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity at USC. I succeeded him as Sargent at Arms at our chapter and looked up to him. I have very fond memories of Don at our parties and events. After graduating USC I moved to Huntington Beach and found Don again living in Sunset Beach and enjoying the beach life and bartending. We met on numerous occasions because I lived close and I would pass his apartment on my drive home from my job in Long Beach. It is sad how we lose touch with people we were close to at times in our life. I will always have fond memories of Don.

Posted by Ralph Forte - Chino, CA - Fraternity brother & friend USC   September 09, 2013

Thanks for all the good times at our Alpha Kappa Psi gatherings, especially on the water ski trips!

Steve Davis USC 1977

Posted by Steve Davis - Torrance, CA   July 16, 2013


Literally just found out that Don had passed. A mutual friend, Deborah, who lives in Georgia and I were talking and we asked one another, "have you heard from Don lately"? He used to send both of us funny little jokes and such but neither one of us had received any in months. I had emailed Don last year and he had told me about his cancer but he was fighting it he said. Don was a sweet man and always made me laugh. It has been a long time since I had seen him last but we stayed in touch via our funny little emails.

Deborah decided to see if she could find out what happened after we spoke earlier today. We both were so sorry to hear of his passing. If it weren't for Don, Deborah and I would have never met and become the good friends we are now.

While it may be five months later, my deepest condolensces are with his family. He always talked about his Mom and Dad, who I did have the pleasure of meeting a few times at Elks Lodge dinners and his sister and her children.

Deborah and I had no idea his cancer may have taken him from us. He was a fun guy.............

Posted by Adrienne - Palm Springs, CA - friend   June 15, 2013

It saddens me to learn of Don's passing! I live in Norther CA but had visited him when I was down in Palm Desert. He taught me to drive a golf cart. I will deeply miss him!

Posted by Pamela O'Leary - Roseville, CA   April 08, 2013

My heart is heavy with the loss of Don. My parents and I have known him for 20 years.He was a very good man! He will be missed by many. My Condolences to the family!

Posted by Trisha Bartley - Desert Hot Springs, CA   February 02, 2013

I Spent a lot of time
On the Golf Course with Don... He was like a big brother to me. He will be missed by many! My prayers and thoughts are with his Family.

Posted by Matt Walker    February 01, 2013

I forgot to add our names to previous guest book. Yvonne & I are Tom & Yvonne Grogan.

Posted by A friend   January 31, 2013

Dear Bruce and Mary
This earth will surely miss Don's spiritual energy and his passion for the things he held dear. He honoured his father and mother as he did the rest of his family and friends. He possessed a heart capable of profound love. I am grateful for having shared time with him here. He is with God whom he loves and has found the harbour for his soul. May you find comfort soon.

Posted by Amber Severn - Vancouver, BC   January 31, 2013


My dear Don
This earth will surely miss your spiritual energy and your passion for the things you held dear. I feel blessed to have shared time with you here. I know you are with God who you love and have found the harbour for your soul

Posted by Amber Severn - Vancouver, BC   January 31, 2013

Condolences to the family. Don was a good guy and fun to golf with.

Posted by Tom Stalker - MLCC, CA   January 31, 2013

Hello Bruce & Mary. We are deeply saddened by the passing of your Son Don. Yvonne & I were friends & He & I were brother Elks for many years. We will surely miss him. God bless you both.

Posted by A friend   January 31, 2013