Julius Donovan Johnson, son of Andy Everett and Velma Paulina (Tripp) Johnson, was born June 8, 1927 at the Johnson/Lilly homeplace northeast of Ridgeway, Missouri. He attended school at Mount Moriah and later at Ridgeway, where he graduated from high school in 1945. Later, in the spring of that year, with the help of Evangelist Lelan Akins, he enrolled in Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma. He had been baptized into Christ at the age of seventeen and had confided to Mr. Akins his desire to become a minister.
With time out to work in an insurance office in Chicago and to wrestle with philosophical issues, he attended the Bible School at Phillips from 1945 until 1949.
In the fall of 1949, he returned to Missouri and did evangelistic work with small rural congregations. He worked at the Pattonsburg Cap Factory for several months prior to his marriage to Joy Deon Lovejoy on February 18, 1951. Almost immediately thereafter, on February 23, 1951, he was inducted into the Army of the United States. He served with the 31st Infantry Division, the 9th Ranger Company, and the 11th Airborne Division. He was discharged in February 1953.
Donovan returned to Daviess County, Missouri to farm with his father-in-law, James Lovejoy. He also preached to small congregations at McFall, Pattonsburg, Oak Ridge, Coffey, and Jameson. He returned to the college classroom during the summers and prepared to teach. He taught seventh grade at Gallatin and later at Gower, Missouri. After a move to Platte County in the spring of 1956 he preached at Edgerton, Second Creek, and Camden Point.
He entered Federal Civil Service in October 1961 and worked for nearly twenty-eight years with the Social Security Administration in Kansas City. He was a Claims Authorizer, Technical Assistant, Training Coordinator, and Operations Specialist. He retired from Federal Service in May, 1989.
Donovan and Deon had five children: Valerie Dawn (Johnson) Engelken, Rhett Starne Johnson, Marcus Shadran Johnson, Jared Travis Johnson, and Simbra Shae Johnson. Since 1965 they have resided on a small farm outside Dearborn, Missouri. There are eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The revival at Oak Ridge in 1977 was a high point of Donovan’s ministry.
In addition to other activities, Donovan raised polled Hereford cattle, did some auctioneering, and bought and sold antiques, collectibles, furniture and appliances.
His last ministerial efforts were made while a member of Missouri Valley Fellowship in St. Joseph, Missouri. He had for a lifetime awaited the restoration of the New Testament Church – but this was not to be in his day – the possibility of which he fully recognized.
Donovan passed from this life January 2, 2018, his children in loving presence and support. His death is proceeded by his wife and brother Paul Andrew Johnson. He is survived by three sisters: Alice Joan Brown of Murray, Iowa, Helen Nebel of Overland Park, Kansas, and Ruth Ann Janezich of Ridgeway, Missouri; his children and their spouses. His extended family includes grandchildren, great grandchildren, step-grandchildren, step-great grandchildren, nephews, niece, and many beloved friends and neighbors.
A visitation will be held Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 10 am to 11am at the Camden Point Christian Church. Memorial Service will follow at 11 am.
Donovan would commend you all to the eternal mercies of God through the instrumentality of Jesus, the Christ, God’s only begotten Son.
Arrangements By: Vaughn-Aufranc Funeral Home—Dearborn, MO. 816.922.3366. www.vaughnfuneralhomes.com
- Julius Donovan Johnson, 91, os St. Joseph, Mo.
- Elizabeth Schoenlaub, 91, St Joseph, MO
- Vera B. Johnson, 98, St Joseph, Mo
- Doris J. Johnson, 83, St. Joseph, MO
- Geraldine "Jerry" Borchers, 91, of St. Joseph, MO
- Dorothy M. (Vette) Trail, 91, of St. Joseph, Mo.
- Jack Wayne Fennel, 91, of St. Joseph, MO,
- Rene Moses "Moy" Delgado 91, of St. Joseph, MO
- Ora Alfred Specker, 91 of St. Joseph, MO
- Mary E. Lima, 91, of St. Joseph, MO