He was preceded in death by his parents (Cordie Morrell Johnston and Hugh Reno Johnston), first wife (Mary Ruth Ottinger), one sister (Edith Dunn), two brothers (James Johnston and Hugh Johnston Jr.), second wife (Fawn Reeser), one great-grandson (Jackson Johnston), and special companion Irene Stills.
He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Brewer and husband, Lynn, of Morristown; son, Ralph Johnston Jr. and wife, Faith, of Piney Flats; five grandchildren and their spouses: Hugh & Deb Brewer of VA, Wess & Christine Brewer of SC, Jason & Jackee Johnston of TN, Jasper (Johnston) & Bert Jolley of GA, and Janette (Johnston) & Michael Natter of NY; eight great-grandchildren: Hannah, Joshua & Benjamin Brewer of TX, Anna & Jessica Brewer of SC, Jayce Johnston of TN, and Archer & August Jolley of GA; several nieces and nephews; and special neighbor, Sammy Anderson.
He graduated as Valedictorian from Greeneville High School in 1935 and was the first member of his family to attain a college degree, which he did as a member of the 1939 graduating class of Tusculum College with a degree in Mathematics and minor in Religion. He worked for East Tennessee Light and Power Company beginning in 1940 and retired from Tennessee Valley Authority after 27 years in 1972. In his retirement, he toured each of the 50 states and 47 countries on six of the seven continents. In addition to travel, he enjoyed square dancing and regularly hosted Rook players at his home. He enjoyed coin collecting and repairing antique clocks.
He was a member of New Ebenezer Presbyterian Church both as a child and again toward the end of his life. He lived in his own home until after the age of 101.
Special thanks to his caretaker Doris Stanton and the caring staff at Signature Healthcare of Greeneville.
The family will receive friends 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home.
There will be a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. Monday at GreeneLawn Memory Gardens with Mary Jane Farmer CLP officiating. Family and friends are asked to meet at the cemetery for the committal service.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kiserrosehillfuneralhome.com.