KELLY FRED JOHNSTON
FEBRUARY 29, 1952 – OCTOBER 9, 2021
Was I loved? And, Did I love well?
Most people’s epitaphs are written after they're gone but, leaving things to others has never really been my style. I would think that it hardly makes sense to change that now. My 69 years of life has been busy and productive with many personal trials and triumphs along the way. There's nothing like incurable illness to have a man take stock of his life, and this is particularly true for me having Parkinson’s disease. The continuous deterioration from this progressive nervous system disorder has left me debilitated at life’s end.
I was born a leap year baby on February 29, 1952 in Ponoka, Alberta to Allan and Gwynneth Johnston. Growing up in an abusive home environment had me thankful for the love and support of family, especially my grandmothers providing a soft place to fall. I worked hard in making a better life for myself. After completing High School in Athabasca I went on to pursue and marry the love of my life Diana, and begin a career in Nursing. As times changed, so too did my role in life.
My Darlin’ Diana and I have been married 48 years, and raised our five children in the Town of Athabasca. I believe in giving back to the community, and the most fulfilling jobs I held were a reflection of that. Through the years I was involved with many organizations in the greater Athabasca area. The most fulfilling accomplishments came with recognition for my time and dedication with: The Royal Life Saving Society of Canada; The Red Cross First Aid Program; and the Athabasca & Area Prevention of Relationship Abuse Action Committee (PRAAC).
I loved vacationing with my family whether it be towing the old tent trailer behind the Dodge Caravan or hopping a plane to a tropical destination. Cherished are the memories of camping, sandy beaches, scuba diving, and worshiping the sun. The sound of steel drums, the smell of coconut oil and campfire smoke evoke the fond memories of good times with family and friends.
My grandmother at her life’s end, posed the questions: “Was I loved?” and “Did I love well?” At my life’s end I know I was loved, and that I have loved well. I leave behind those who love me, and whom I have loved well: my wife Diana; son Dale (Julie) Rhett and Brooke Johnston; son Daryl (Kara) Aidan and Kieran Johnston; daughter Kate (Matt) Liam and Wynn Dery, and Brandon Nichol; son Garrett (Melissa) and Jacob Johnston; son Grahame and daughters Paige and Ava Johnston; daughter-in-law Ashley Johnston; sister Wendy Johnston; sister Brenda (Jim) Vergette; sister Rena (Tom) Stewart; sister-in-law Janice Johnston; brother-in-law Dennis Onyszchuk; sister-in-law Linda Onyszchuk; sister-in-law Elaine Freh (John Shelton); sister-in-law Janice Boutin; brother-in-law Robert (Mireille) Onyszchuk; along with numerous dear nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
THRIVE – PRAAC – Athabasca, Alberta
THRIVE is a program partnership of Healthy Families Healthy Futures and the Athabasca and Area Prevention of Relationship Abuse Action Committee. Healthy Families Healthy Futures.