Donald E. Johansen

August 12, 2017
Johansen, Donald (wedding photo)

– Donald Edward Johansen, 85, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Langdon Place in Nashua, NH. Donald was born on March 20, 1932 at Hollywood Hospital in Hollywood, California, to Grace L. Johansen (Sandstrom) and Oliver J. Johansen. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1949 and the University of California, Berkeley in 1953 with an A.B. in Physics, earning his Masters (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) from Harvard University with his thesis on the Application of Digital Computers to Automatic Control. He was a caring and loving husband, father, brother and son, and will be forever missed. His passing leaves a hole in our hearts.

While in high school, Donald operated the family drayage business after school. From an early age, Donald showed a love for science and mathematics; first, by obtaining an amateur radio operator’s license, and then by building his own transmitter. In his senior year of high school, Donald won a $500 scholarship to Stanford University in the statewide fourth annual Stanford University competitive examination in mathematics and received an Honorable Mention in the annual Westinghouse nationwide science talent search. While at the University of California, Berkeley, Donald joined Kappa Delta Rho. He was a talented student and was always thoughtful and analytical in his approach to any challenge. As a true engineer, he always believed that problems were for solving.

After graduating from college, Donald served in the Army, stationed at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah during the Korean War. He received an honorable discharge from the Army and moved to Boston where he met his future wife, Barbara Janetos Stanley, at a MIT dance. They became engaged after 11 days of courtship and married a year later on June 9, 1957 in Dover, New Hampshire. The couple lived and raised their family in Reading, Massachusetts, before moving to Langdon Place in Nashua in 2005.

Donald’s career in electrical and computer engineering spanned four decades. He worked at Sylvania and Signatron and rose to the position of Vice President of Engineering at CSP, Inc., until his retirement in the 1990s. He published over 10 articles in refereed professional literature. He served as a reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and the Transactions on Automatic Control journals. He owned and operated Johansen Engineering and was a co-owner of The Computer Store in Lexington, Mass, which sold and repaired Altair kit computers in the mid-70s at the start of the PC revolution. He purchased one of the first commercially available calculators from Hewlett-Packard, replacing his trusty slide ruler, and bought his daughters each a Compaq PC in the early 80s, believing that computers were the future. In 1986, Donald and his son-in-law Joseph Roberts partnered to purchase their first rental property in Nashua, NH. They started Linbar Property Management in 1992, with 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments in the Southern NH area.

Donald was predeceased by his parents, Grace L. Johansen (Sandstrom) and Oliver J. Johansen and his beloved wife of 57 years, Barbara J. Johansen (Janetos). He was predeceased by his sister Marjorie Johansen, his sister-in-laws Mary Bandouveres, Angeline Janetos, Anna Matyas Laws, Marjorie S. Janetos and Christina Janetos and brother-in-laws Andrew E. Janetos, George E. Janetos, George Bandouveres, Andrew Matyas, and Walter Laws,. He is survived by two daughters and their spouses, Ellen and GC Morris of Richmond, VT, and Linda and Joseph Roberts of Merrimack, NH; four grandchildren, Galloway and Elizabeth Morris, and Christopher and Laura Roberts; brother Raymond Johansen and his wife Karen, brothers-in-laws Lewis Janetos and his wife Eleanore, and Paul Janetos and his wife Robin, his sister-in-law Eleanor Janetos and many nephews, nieces, and cousins. He always felt a part of the Janetos family and visited his mother-in-law and the extended family every other Sunday for decades.

SERVICES: Memorial Visitation will take place at the FARWELL FUNERAL HOME, 18 Lock Street, Nashua, NH on Friday August 18, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm. A Celebration of Life service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11am. There will also be a Memorial Service held in his honor in October at his final resting place in New Town Cemetery in Rollinsford, NH with his beloved wife, Barbara J. Johansen. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request Memorial Donations be made in the name of Donald E. Johansen to the Brain Injury Association of America, Inc., PO Box 7416, Merrifield, VA 22116. Arrangements are in the care of the FARWELL FUNERAL SERVICE. (603) 882-0591.

1 Comment on Donald E. Johansen

Susan Robidoux said : Guest Report Aug 16, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Linda, Joe and family, I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Your Dad was a talented, gifted and unique person. Always very gracious, calm and patient. He needed his patience to put up with us as teenagers! I'll miss him and find comfort in knowing that he is with your Mom making heaven a better place.

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