Obituary of Henry Johnston
JOHNSTON, Henry H. 'Hank', 87 and Helen E. (Gunn), 89 died Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Helen was born on February 8, 1928 in Newton, NJ to Judson and Idella (Riker) Gunn
Henry was born on July 22,1929 in Martinsburg, NY to Theodore and Gladys (Perry) Johnston.
Hank passed after a week long illness. Helen commanded to go to heaven first and took her husband of 65 years with her to dance their final dance three hours later. Their love story continues in heaven today.
They are survived by children: Thomas (Alice) Johnston, Ellen (Larry) Meyers, Valerie Jean (Leonard) Ward, Penny Lou (Edmund) Hurd, Sally (Ken) Thurston, and Bonny (George) Davis. They were predeceased by daughter Betsy Ann (Terry) Cronk. Helen is survived by four brothers: Robert, Arnold, Kenneth, all of Florida and Ronald of Massachusetts. She was predeceased by brother, Judson Jr. and sister, Janice Read of Florida. Henry was predeceased by brother Douglas and two sisters, Eva and Betty.
Grandparents to 20 loving grandchildren and many great and great great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who also knew them as "Mom & Dad".
Henry worked hard all his life having been farmed out from the time he was eight years old. He was married to Ella Walrath and had three children. After a brief stint in the army he was discharged and separated from Ella. He then worked at the Governor talc mines. Hank was an entrepreneur (of many talents) and started many small businesses, one of which was delivering block ice to customers homes for their "ice boxes" This business at sometime along the way took him to Andover, NJ where he met Helen and her three girls, whom he took under his wing. They moved back to Hastings, NY and built a home together. Among his many endeavors he was a truck driver, owner of an auto and truck business, family farm, and painted autos in Central Square, NY. They built a home in Redfield, NY. While employed at Oberdorfer smelters in Syracuse, NY he was also held several jobs at the same time. He had a successful excavating business in the Central Square and Watertown, NY areas. Hank loved the outdoors, being an avid hunter and fisherman, he was a longtime member of the Redfield Rod & Gun Club. Hank was well known for his chicken and pork bar-b-cues, pig roasts as well as grilling the venison and fish garnered from his excursions.
Helen worked hard as well throughout her life. She retired after 25 years at Syracuse China and and started her new career as bookeeper and business manager for Hank's businesses. She enjoyed her flower gardens and her needlework. Together they hosted many parties, danced the nights away, and enjoyed being with friends and family.
When they thought it was time to slow down and smell the roses along the way, they built a home in Dexter, NY where Hank continued with his excavating and other enterprises and Helen took to her flowers. They will be missed very much by all those that were fortunate enough to have known and loved them.
Arrangements for their cremation and memorial services are being handled by Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter, NY. Services will be announced by the family later for a date in June at which time their cremains will be buried in Redfield, NY.
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