Don Johnson

The Appaloosa community has lost a stalwart. Don Johnson of Walla Walla, Washington, died January 1st at age 82. We’ve borrowed from the text of a memorial written by George and Iola Hatley:

Horses had been a part of Don’s life since childhood. He raised Quarter Horses and Appaloosas, many of them going on to become great race horses and good trail horses. He help organize and was a rider on the Chief Joseph Appaloosa Ride for the past 43 years, never missing a year. In the beginning, he was the manager of the ride. He hired the trail boss Dick Hammond, he ran the cooking crew and rode his horse the 100 miles in five days.

He was an ApHC director for six years, becoming President in 1993. He managed the 1967 National Appaloosa Show at Walla Walla. He served on the Board of Directors for the Appaloosa Museum.

Don is survived by his wife Sharon; three daughters and sons-in-law: Kathy and Gary Martin, Mary Jo and Gary Duncan, Donna and Cliff Cook; a son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Cynthia Johnson; two step-daughters: Debbie Miller and Dixie Aichele; step-son Don Roff; a sister, Harriett E. Johnson; three brothers: Ted Johnson, Mark Johnson and Eric Johnson; 12 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Categories: Announcements /People


  1. Juli Thorson Said,

    January 6, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. Godspeed, Don, and condolences to your family.

  2. Mike Croy Said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 5:09 am

    Don was a great gentleman with a big heart! He will be missed!

  3. Michelle Bobbitt Said,

    January 13, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    We rode with Don and Sharon on the Chief Joseph Trail Ride for many, many years and Don was such a pleasure to be around and listen to his stories. He will be missed. Sharon, Ron and the rest of the family are in our thoughts and prayers.

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