On Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, Raymond Neil Johnston died suddenly at his home in Mesa, Ariz.
Ray was born to Clifton and Thelma Johnston, and spent his childhood on the family farm outside of Fordville, N.D. In 1960 he graduated from the University of North Dakota and married his college sweetheart, Beverly Ann Peterson, that same year in Havre, Mont.
He spent much of his career at John Deere Implements, and then began his own real estate and insurance business.
After raising their children in Havre, Ray and Bev moved to the Midwest. They lived in Newton, Ill., and Owens-boro, Ky. In 2002, Ray and Bev made the decision to move to Mesa, Ariz. This was the place he most enjoyed and felt most at home. Here he enjoyed swimming, working out, and visiting with friends. He also found a “whole bunch more kids” when he began working at Chaparral High School as a security guard.
This July, Ray and Bev were joined by family and friends in Sedona to celebrate their golden anniversary.
Ray is survived by his wife of 50 years; five children, Janna Lynn (Mark Ewert), Kara Marie (Jon Yockey), Christopher Ronald, Stephen Robert (Ann Johnston), Alissa Ann (Brian Krantz); and 12 grandchildren, Reece, Erik, Rachel, Jasmine, Evan, Ian, Christalyn, Trygve, Brayden, Jason, Hannah, Taylor. He is also survived by his sister, Donnelly Heinekamp; brother, Douglas Johnston, and brother and sister-in-law, Carole and Dennis Johnson.
A Celebration of Life for Ray will be held on Tuesday Sept. 7, 2010. at 10 a.m. at Victory Lutheran Church, 5946 E University Drive, Mesa, Ariz. Arrangements have been entrusted to Melcher Mortuary Mission Chapel and Crematory, (480) 832-3500.