Richard Johnston, age 76, passed away on January 21, 2019, in DeRidder, Louisiana, in the loving care of much of his family.
Born July 16, 1942, in Denham Springs, Louisiana, to Clyde and Margaret Johnston, Richard went on to graduate from Denham Springs High School in 1960. Soon after, he enlisted in the Navy and served his country for four years. Richard then put his skills to use as a merchant marine for Exxon and then applied himself to various occupations as a jack-of-all-trades contractor for the next several years.
Throughout his occupations was an enjoyment and love for history, so he returned to school to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in History. He realized his dream by graduating in 1993 from McNeese State University. With the support of his wife, Patricia, Richard began teaching high school social studies at various schools in southwest Louisiana.
Unfortunately, Richard’s health declined such that he became occupationally disabled. For many, this would have meant the end of a fruitful life and the beginning of a passive retirement. But for Richard, this began a season of his serving the needs of Dry Creek Baptist Church.
Despite the physical challenges of the tasks, Richard worked sacrificially to not only to lead in the repair and improvement of the buildings of the church, but also to personally support the pastor and his parsonage as Dry Creek Baptist Church transitioned between full-time and interim pastors. Acting as a fatherly mediator between pastor and congregants and assisting in many of the day-to-day operations of the church, earned him the affectionate title “the General.”
Though his life took him to many places and jobs, it also ended with a commitment to using his accumulated skills and knowledge to serve the church. Richard’s service to Dry Creek Baptist Church and his love for his family are his lasting legacy.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 32 years, Patricia Cantrell Johnston of DeRidder, LA; sons, Will Cantrell Johnston and Kathrynn of Wake Forest, NC and Kyle Eglin Johnston and Hannah of Alexandria, LA; daughter, Melissa Ann Johnston of Tioga, LA; sister, Janis Nettles and Gordan of Hammond, LA; grandchildren, Dalton Watts and Chase Menicocci both of Tioga, LA; nephews, Bryan Nettles and Mark Nettles both of Hammond, LA and a host of other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Margaret Johnston and brother, Clyde Henry Johnston, Jr.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 25, 2019 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM at Dry Creek Baptist Church in Dry Creek, LA. A Memorial service will be at 5:30 PM, also at Dry Creek Baptist Church in Dry Creek, LA. Brother Charlie Bailey will officiate the service with the eulogy by Brother Kevin Willis. The family would like to express a special thank you to Heart of Hospice and the special care given by Amy Burks and Ashley Schecher. The family also requests donations be made to the Dry Creek Baptist Mission Fund in lieu of flowers.