James Laughlin Johnston

James Laughlin Johnston, 93, Columbia City, died at 5:10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 at Miller’s Oak Pointe, after a brief illness.

He was born March 22, 1923 in Whitley County, son of the late Homer P. and Ethel (Hill) Johnston. His formative years were spent in Thorncreek Township. He graduated from Columbia City High School in 1942 and attended Indiana University – Bloomington.

On June 19, 1948, he was united in marriage to Phyllis M. Kesler. She preceded him in death on Feb. 14, 1989. On Oct. 20, 1990 he was united in marriage to Joan (Kuhn) Stockwell. The couple resided at their home on Big Cedar Lake until 2012, when they moved to Columbia City.

James began his career at Farmer’s Loan and Trust Bank. After college, he worked as an examiner for Indiana Home Loan Bank Board until his retirement in 1989.

He was a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Columbia City, and the Masonic Lodge 189, Columbia City.

He is survived by his wife, Joan; a daughter, Tracy E. (James) Gresley, Columbia City; two sons: J. Kelly (Beth Ann) Johnston, Fishers; and John E. Johnston, Salinas, Calif.; a step-son, John (Mary) Stockwell, Columbia City; and a step-daughter, Susie J. (Tim) Gambrell, Columbia City; ten grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and two brothers, Ivan E. (Carol) Johnston, Goldcreek, Mont.; and Leonard (Darlene) Johnston, Charleston, S.C.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Neil and Gerald Johnston and two sisters, Iris Johnston and Alice Hood Smith.

The funeral service will be 4 p.m. Saturday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. Visitation will be Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until the service time at the funeral home. Burial will be at a later date.

Preferred memorials are to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Food Pantry or Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church.



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