J. R. Johnston, 90

Funeral services for J.R. Johnston, 90, longtime resident of Norwood, were held May 14, 2019, at Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home in Mountain Grove. Mr. Johnston died May 10 at his home in Norwood.

He was born March 13, 1929, in Drury, the son of Jason and Ollie Smith Johnston. He attended school in the Drury area, and when he was 18, he moved to Iowa, where he worked at the Blackhawk Foundry and at the J.I. Case Co. In 1951 in Iowa, he met and married Janet Borders; they were married 67 years. While living in Iowa, they had a daughter, Mary Ann.

In 1955, the Johnstons moved to Oregon, where Mr. Johnston worked at a sawmill. While living in Oregon, they had a son, Herbie. In 1960, the family returned to Norwood, where he remained until his death. Mr. Johnston drove a school bus for several years and owned and operated his own dump truck until retiring in 1990.

He enjoyed fishing and traveling and was an avid bluegrass musician and fan. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he played bass in a bluegrass band called Misty Mountain Bluegrass. For many years, he and his wife attended many bluegrass festivals in several states and were regular attendees at the McClurg and Vanzant jam sessions, where he enjoyed playing old-time banjo and was known to several Ozark Countians who enjoyed his music. In 2017, Mr. Johnston was awarded the Pioneer of Missouri Bluegrass award, given for his support of bluegrass music.

He was raised in a Christian home and attended Norwood Baptist Church for many years with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Johnston, of the home; one daughter, Mary Ann Mason and husband Billy of Norwood; one son, Herbie Johnston and wife Jeanie of Norwood; one granddaughter, Cassie Ferguson and husband Tyler of West Fork, Arkansas; two great-grandsons, Kyle Mason and Levi Mason of Mountain Grove; one great-great-granddaughter, Anistyn Mason, and one great-great-grandson, Rydge Mason, both of Mountain Grove; and many other friends and relatives who will greatly miss him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jason and Ollie Johnston; four brothers, Marion Johnston, Earl Johnston, Eugene Johnston and Silas Johnston; and two grandsons, David Mason and Chris Mason.

Burial will be in Pleasant Home Cemetery at Drury.

Arrangements by Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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