Donna Lee Turner Johnston | Obituaries


Our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away on August 1st, 2021 at home.

Donna was born in Clawson, Utah, on August 23, 1931, to Heber C. and Lenora Mae (Nelson) Turner, although her family moved to Wellington, Utah shortly thereafter. She was the youngest of ten children and spoke often and lovingly of her family. She never had stories of growing up on a farm, getting along with what they had and the love they shared. In 1937, Donna’s father Heber died suddenly in a car accident. Her family worked together to support and provide for her mother and each other. In 1944, Donna’s mother married David Thayn and he brought five stepbrothers and one stepsister into their family. David became her father figure and loved her as if she were his own daughter.

In 1949, Donna married Troy Johnston in Elko, Nevada. They settled in Provo, Utah, and had two children whom she loved very much. Donna was an exceptionally hardworking worker and took pride in getting her job done thoroughly and correctly. She spent time working in cafes, operating phones, treating patients at Utah State Hospital, and cleaning up high school kids as a caregiver. She retired from Provo High School in 1990 after 22 years of service. All of her work had in common that she cared for people and that didn’t end when she retired. There was always a place at her table with a cup of coffee and a sweet treat for anyone who came to visit.

Donna loved to crochet, sew, cook, garden, read and write poetry, and tell stories about her life. She loved dogs and had a special bond with everyone she met. She was an extraordinary grandma and great-grandma. She loved teaching her grandchildren her way and shared recipes and advice whenever she could. She loved telling her great-grandchildren stories about how life has changed over the years since she was old. She had a sweet sense of humor and found joy in the small and simple things in life. Not a day will go by that we will not miss our mom and grandma, and although our hearts are now heavy with grief, we know that their love shows through us and everyone she has touched. It reassures us to know that she is now with her family and friends who died before her, as well as all of her dogs who have no doubt been patiently waiting across the Rainbow Bridge for her beloved Donna to return to them.

Put me in your pocket

Donna leaves behind her two children, Dixie (David) Turpin and Denton Troy Johnston; Grandson Christopher Turpin, Jerry Turpin, Jessie Hansen, Josh (Mandy) Turpin, Megan Johnston, Jennie (Chris) Church, Hayley Johnston, Brett Troy Johnston, Matthew Denton Johnston; Great-grandchildren Cherokee Lee Church, Shaylee Jo Turpin, Skylee Ann Turpin, Cheyenne Jackie Church, Kambree Lynn Hansen, Frankie Barney, Slayden David Turpin, Andie Barney, and Jaxden Troy Church. In death, her husband Ervin Troy Johnston, great-grandson Kayden Christopher, and their parents and siblings preceded them.

Funerary services will be held on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Provo City Cemetery, 610 South State Street, Provo, Utah. Friends can call the Provo Mountain Mortuary at 185 East Center Street on Sunday, Aug. 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to the service at the cemetery at the Provo Mountain Mortuary. Expressions of condolences can be found at

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