JOHNSTON, DONALD M. - Minnehaha County, South Dakota | DONALD M. JOHNSTON - South Dakota Gravestone Photos


Dell Rapids Cemetery - Dell Rapids Cemetery
Minnehaha County,
South Dakota

Birth: Sep. 22, 1926
Death: Oct. 16, 1949

Two Dell Raids Young Men Killed in Auto Crash

An automobile crash which snuffed the lived of two Dell Rapids young men, Donald Johnston, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Pettit and Donald Matz, son of Mrs. Augusta Matz, occurred about midnight Sunday on a highway, near Hartwick, Minn., about eight miles north of Luverne when their car crashed broadside into a cattle truck driven by Luois Bentson of Kenneth, Minn.

According to Minnesota Highway Patrolman Don Peterson and Sheriff Neil Roberts of Luverne who investigated, Bentson was driving an empty cattle truck, traveling between 40 and 50 miles an hour. He saw the car coming but expected it to stop at the stop sign on the approach of highway 75. However, it is surmised that Johnston who was driving his car, failed to see the sign and hit the truck broadside back of the can. The impact pushed the truck into the ditch but it did no overturn was brought back to the highway about 235 yards from the scene of the crash. The car remained upright but was carried about 85 feet down the highway. Both men were killed instantly.

The Johnston car, a 1935 Ford was completely wrecked it is said and the truck, 1949 model was badly damaged.

As soon as identification was made Luverne officials called Chief of Police McDannel, who in turn contacted families of the young men the bodies were broth here early Monday morning by the Hermanson ambulance.

Why the boys were in Minnesota Sunday night no one knows. They were here in Dell Rapids; it is said until about ten o'clock.

Funeral services were held for both boys Wednesday afternoon. Services for Johnston were held at 1:30 p.m. at the Lutheran church by Re. Ole M. Odland. The Matz funeral followed at the First Baptist church at 3:00, conducted by Rev. Horace J. Smith. Both were veterans of World War II and were given military funerals by members of the George A. Fitzgerald and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Donald Marlyn Johnston
Donald Marlyn Johsnston, so of Mrs. Clayton Pettit, was born at Colton, September 22, 1926. His father, the late Charles Johnston passed way several years ago.

Following the death of his father he and his mother moved to Dell Rapids, where he attended and graduated from the local public school in 1945. Having sufficient credits to graduate with the class of that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. On January 12, 1945 and was in service at graduation time. Following his discharge at Great Lakes August 31, 1946, he returned home and entered the University of South Dakota that fall, majoring in business administration. He would have been graduated from that school following four more months of work.

He is survived by his mother and step-father, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Pettit and uncles and aunt.

Donald C. Matz
Donald Carl Matz was born March 28, 1928, the son of the late Gotthart and Augusta Matz. He had lived in Dell Rapids all his life and attended the Dell Rapids High School. He enlisted in the army May 2, 1926, serving with tan engineering unit in the Philippines until his discharge November 7, 1947.

He is survived by his twin brother Arnold, brothers William at Medina, N.Y., Arthur Jackson, Michigan, Leo of Sioux Falls, George of Wessington, S.D.; one sister Mrs. Jack Olmstead of Dell Rapids, his mother of Dell Rapids and a grandmother, Mrs. Annie Minnick of Minneapolis.

Printed Oct. 20, 1949

Contributed on 4/20/09 by dellsfig68
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Record #: 6820

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Submitted: 4/20/09 • Approved: 4/22/09 • Last Updated: 8/14/15 • R6820-G0-S3

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