Friday, May 24, 2024

Dorothy Johnston


Dorothy Johnston

July 23, 1932 - November 11, 2022

Dorothy Johnston of Leavenworth, WA passed away in November. 11, 2022 after a long and full life.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Samuel, sisters June Walker and her husband Bob, and Naomi Shipp. She is survived by daughter Jan Johnston (Leavenworth, WA), son Sam Johnston and wife Sandy (San Juan, WA), daughter Jean Johnston and partner Steve Thompson (Portland, OR), grandchildren Sam Johnston and wife Brooke (Kenmore, WA), Natalie Johnston and partner Michael Henderson (San Juan, WA), Tom Caldwell (Portland, OR), niece Sue Carroll (Seattle), nephews Bob Walker and wife Betty (Ukiah, CA), Marty Walker and wife Kelly (Sunland, CA), Rick Shipp and wife Carol (Lancaster, CA), and brother-in-law Gayford Shipp (West Hills, CA).

She was born Dorothy Ann Ford on July 23, 1932, in Culver City, CA to Norman and Clara Ford, as the youngest of three sisters. She grew up in Sylmar and Van Nuys, CA and graduated from Van Nuys High School. Already an artist of considerable talent, she earned the honor of illustrating her high school yearbook.

In 1951 she married Samuel Johnston and settled in Granada Hills, CA, where they raised three children, Jan, Sam Jr., and Jean. While busy raising children, Dorothy drew and painted every chance she got and also found time to refinish and re-upholster furniture, paint and wallpaper the home, sew clothing for the family, and give themed birthday parties for her kids. The family enjoyed long camping trips, during which time she painted landscapes.

In the 1970s and early 1980s she worked as a production artist at Vanguard Studios in Los Angeles. During this time, she studied art with Greta Aufhauser.

When her husband Sam passed away at a young age, Dorothy moved north to Arcata, CA to be closer to her grown children. There she fulfilled her lifelong dream of attending college and earned an Art degree with honors from Humboldt State University in 1987 at the age of 54. She then moved to Seattle and later Whidbey Island, where she continued her artistic pursuits, and kept busy gardening, reading, and enjoying home improvement projects.

In 2012, Dorothy moved to Leavenworth, WA and lived in town before moving to Mountain Meadows Senior Living in 2016. In July 2022, Dorothy exhibited her artwork at the Leavenworth Library and celebrated her 90th birthday. Dorothy will be lovingly remembered for her mischievous sense of humor, her independence, resourcefulness, love of nature, and her great artistic talent. She was a very caring, protective and loving mother to her children. There will be a Celebration of Life for Dorothy at Mountain Meadows Senior Living in Leavenworth on Sunday, June 11 at 1 p.m.