Harry “Red” Johnston, 86, of Fairhance, PA, died Thursday, October 11, 2018, at Hillside Manor Personal Care Home, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Red was born on October 24, 1931 in Continental 3, PA, son of Clyde R. Johnston and Sarah Cramer Johnston. Preceding him in death in addition to his parents were her siblings: Alister “Red” Johnston, Louise Franks, Charles “Dub” Johnston, Margaret “Sis” Lowery, Elmer “Buddy” Johnston, Wanda Fazenbaker, and Judy Martin Chissell; his former wife, O. Rebecca Johnston; his special friend, Janet Burge; and his beloved pets, Teddy and Cutie.
Harry was a graduate of Georges Township High School, Class of 1950.
Red was loved and admired by everyone who knew him for his huge smile, contagious laughter, unmatchable work ethic, and love for life. He never knew a stranger and made friends everywhere he went. He loved to dance, travel the world, appreciated a good stage show in Vegas, continued his love of painting and drywall into his 80s, and enjoyed working in the yard with his furry little buddies behind him. Harry had been an outstanding baseball player as a young man, which probably explained his passion for sports. He never missed a Pirates or Steelers game on tv.
A Korean War Army veteran, he held memberships in the American Legion and Amvets. He also was active in community organizations, including the Moose. Some of his favorite stories were about his service in Puerto Rico, during which time he played baseball, taught English and managed the commissary.
Even until recently, Harry had energy that surpassed a person half his age. He stayed active and when questioned about his outstanding stamina, he responded, “The Lord has been good to me. He’s given me great health and a family who loves me.”
To his four children—Danette Keown, Dennis Johnston, Kimberly Dillinger, and Sarah Green—he instilled the values of hard work, integrity, honesty, kindness, commitment, love of country, education and, most importantly, dedication to family.
More than anything, he took tremendous pride in caring for his family. He was never happier than when he was surrounded by family and friends, which he was until the very end.
Surviving are his children: Danette Keown and husband, Tom (Gates, PA); Dennis Johnston and wife, Trish (Gettysburg, PA); Kimberly Dillinger and boyfriend, Bob George (Fairchance, PA); and Sarah Green and fiancé, Jimmy Mansberry (Connellsville); seven grandchildren: Jayme McCourt, Greg Lewellen, Jillyn Lewellen, Garrett Lewellen, Jenna Bufkin, Jaron Johnston, and Emily Dillinger; five great-grandchildren: Tyler Youler, Shelby Youler, Hunter Lowe, River Lowe, and Allyanna Lewellen.
Family and friends will be received at DEAN C. WHITMARSH FUNERAL HOME, 134 West Church St., Fairchance, PA, on Sunday, October 14, from 2:00-7:00 p.m., the hour of service. Pastor Nicholas J. Cook will provide the celebration message. Private interment will be Monday, October 15, 2018 in American Legion Post 278 Veterans Cemetery at Maple Grove Cemetery, Fairchance, Pa. with Military Rites being accorded by General Marshall Amvets Post 103.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, WV Chapter, 1299 Pineview Drive, Ste. 3, Morgantown, WV 26505, alz.org/wv, (304) 599-1159/ (800) 272-3900.