Published: November 27, 2013
Donna J. Johnsen (1945-2013)
Donna Johnsen passed away at Santa Paula Hospital on November 19, 2013 with her family by her side. She was born in Ventura on March 19, 1945, was a 1963 graduate of Buena HS, and lived her whole life in Ventura county. She resided in Santa Paula for the past 20 years. After graduation, she worked for many years at Oxnard Frozen Foods. She then moved to Ventura College, where she worked in the cafeteria and as switchboard operator for 24 years, before spending the final year of her career at Moorpark College.
More than anything, Donna loved helping others and her positions at VC allowed her to touch the lives of countless students, teachers, fellow staff, and visitors. Operating the switchboard and manning the front desk at the administration building, Donna was often the first person people encountered when they visited the college and her ever-cheerful personality and good directions always helped them. She built relationships with many of the teachers and loved doing any project she could, large or small, to ease their workload.
Outside work, Donna served in other ways: as room mother and yard monitor at Our Lady of the Assumption school where her beloved daughter Denise was a student, as ticket taker for VC football games, as dedicated supporter of the VC Pirate men’s and women’s basketball teams, as mentor to disabled college students, and, in the role she treasured most, as care-taker for her mother, Marie Garcia. Donna and Marie lived together for 34 years and all of Donna’s efforts were devoted to ensuring Marie was healthy and active. Even when she would have preferred to stay at home, Marie, who passed away in 2011 at age 95, was a fixture at VC sporting events, family gatherings, and church functions. In her final years, Donna devoted her energy to caring for her grandson Timothy and Buttercup, her chihuahua.
Donna is preceded in death by her father Pantaleon, mother Marie, and brother Robert. She is survived by her daughter Denise, son-in-law Steve, grandson Timothy, sister Marieta, brother Pantaleon Jr., and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Visitation Friday evening November 29, 2013 from 4 to 8pm with a Rosary at 6:30pm in JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME 757 E. Main Street Ventura. Funeral Mass will be Saturday November 30, 2013 at 11AM in Our Lady of the Assumption Church 3175 Telegraph Road Ventura. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Diabetes Association.