He was born Jan. 23, 1953, in Sikeston, Mo., son of John Wesley and Mary Ida Wilson Northern. He and Sue Waggoner were married June 21, 1980.
Northern was a dock supervisor at Malone and Hyde in Sikeston.
Survivors include a son, Donald Joe Northern II of Kennett, Mo.; two daughters, Christina Ward of Marble Hill, Mo., Emily Tucker of Chaffee, Mo.; four brothers, Charles Northern of St. Louis, Paul Northern of Sikeston, Oscar Northern of Jackson, Wis., Travis Cummins of Sikeston; two sisters, Hattie McDowell and Mary Hampton of Sikeston; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and four brothers, John, Clyde, Ronnie and Raymond.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Liley Funeral Home in Marble Hill.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Ray Hannah officiating. Burial will be in Northern Family Cemetery near Zalma.