HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries


Donovan Johnson

Donovan Johnson, age 96, of Edina, died Sunday, April 1, 2007.

He was born on a farm in Kingston to John Alfred and Elizabeth Johnson, the youngest of 10 children. Donovan attended the Cates School, District 16, and was confirmed in the South Kingston Mission Church.

When Donovan graduated from grade school, there were no school buses from Kingston, so he attended the Minnehaha Academy, living with a sister in Minneapolis. In 1931, he graduated from the University of Minnesota.

He went on to earn a master’s degree, and then taught mathematics and coached the golf team at Stillwater High School.

The passage of the Social Security Act in the mid-1930s required the help of many mathematicians and Donovan worked for several years in that program. In 1942, he joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota, chairing the mathematics department at University High School, and teaching in the College of Education. He earned a doctor of philosphy degree from the university, and became a leader in the development of curricula and in teaching methods.

From 1966 to 1968, he was president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. After retiring, he helped develop mathematics programs in Australia, Turkey, and Mexico.

Donovan is survived by his wife of 72 years, Alice; two daughters and a son; several grandchildren; and a sister, Signe Broberg, who was his teacher in the Cates School, and is 108 years old.

Among the brothers and sisters who preceded him in death, were four from the Dassel area: Eleanor Dille, Mable Carlson, Myrtle Carlson, and Leroy Johnson.

Services have taken place.

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