Paul LeRoy Johnston

Funeral services for Paul LeRoy Johnston, 78, Rural Lawrence, will be 2 p.m. Wed., Nov. 28, at Plymouth Congregational Church. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Douglas County, KS. Rev. Dr. Peter Luckey will officiate. He was born June 8, 1934 at home in rural Bartlett, KS. He died November 22, 2012 at home in rural Lawrence, KS. Between these dates he lived a full and productive life.

Paul attended grade school in Bartlett, KS. While growing up, he was a member of the Country Pals 4-H Club in Labette County. He was active in the livestock, leadership, and citizenship projects and was president of a state 4-H organization. Paul graduated from Labette County Community High School in Altamont, KS in 1952. After graduation he attended Coffeyville Community College and transferred to the University of Kansas to study engineering. While at KU, Paul joined several engineering organizations and was chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers his senior year. He married Evelyn Griffith, of rural Lawrence, on August 7, 1955 at the First United Methodist Church in Lawrence. She survives of the home.

Paul graduated from KU in January 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation, the couple moved to Wichita, KS where he was employed as an engineer for Boeing Aircraft Company. They returned to Lawrence in 1958 when Paul was hired to teach in the Engineering Manufacturing Department at KU, a position he held until 1962. He later co-authored a chapter in the book “A History of the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas 1868-1988,” edited by James O. Maloney. Although no longer working at the University, Paul remained an avid Jayhawk fan his entire life. After leaving the University, he was employed by Farmland Industries as an engineer at Cooperative Farm Chemical Association in east Lawrence from 1962 until he retired in 1996.

Paul was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church for 51 years. During that time he served as Church School Superintendent for 5 years and was a member of the Board of Deacons and Board of Christian Education.

Paul enjoyed working with youth. For 15 years his summers were spent as a coach for various Little League Baseball teams. He traveled as a sponsor with the Lawrence High School band and orchestra on trips to Portland, OR; St. Louis, MO; and Washington, D.C. In addition, he was a 4-H leader for 20 years for the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club in Douglas County. Paul served as a sponsor for the 4-H Citizenship Conference in Washington D.C. He received the Douglas County 4-H Family Award, the Friend of 4-H Award, and the Friend of the Fair Award. He served on the Douglas County Fair Board for 6 years as treasurer, vice-president, and president. His hobbies included leather tooling and woodworking projects.

Besides Paul’s wife, Evelyn, other survivors include his children Paula (husband David) Aiken, Mike (wife Julie), Merlin (wife Susan), Mark (wife Terra), and Penny (husband Clark) Eschliman. He has 11 grandchildren: Josh (Jennifer), Molly (Seth), Jake (Meghan), Micah, Katie, Jared, David (Makenzie), Douglas, Luke, Evan, and Carley; 3 step-grandchildren: Ron, Larry (Susan), and Gale; 3 great-grandchildren: Caroline, Wyatt, and Michaela; and 5 step great-grandchildren: David, Bry, Jacob, Kelly, and Jackson. He is also survived by a brother, Dale (Marlyn Kay) and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Tues., Nov. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Douglas County 4-H Foundation, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS. 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From George&Cheryl Hunsinger...

Evelyn, and family, you folks are in our thoughts and prayers. Paul was a wonderfull person. He certainly gave to his community. 4-H, extention, the fair, and rural youth of Douglas County, have very much lost a freind and I-Con.

From Paul Viebrock...

Remember Mr. Johnston in so many ways, but especially the constant smile. So sorry to hear of your loss. Mortal Earth’s loss but definitely Heaven’s gain! May God’s grace be with all of you as you deal with the struggle of losing such a great man.

From Rodger and Sheryl Henry...

Evelyn and family, We were so sorry to read about Paul. What a wonderful, cheerful and encouraging influence for our family. He will be greatly missed and our prayers go out to you.

From Larry and Ann Sooby...

Our thoughts are with your family during this difficult time. We are saddened and very sorry for your loss.
Larry and Ann

From Marilyn Mitchell...

Our prayers are with your family at this time. Allen and Marilyn Mitchell

From Eileen (Beech) Keenan...

As a highschool classmate, a fellow LCCHS band member and friend, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. His ready smile was always heartwarming and he displayed such a positive personality even in his growing up years. I am pleased to learn of his fine accomplishments and achievements during his life’s journey. There is no doubt Heaven is rejoicing at his presence, although your hearts will miss him sorely. I am proud to claim him as a friend even though our paths crossed so seldom after our
high school graduation. Loving thoughts and prayers to each of you!

From Bob and Shirley Thiry...

We were sorry to read of Paul’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

From Plum Creek Community Church...

With deepest sympathy for your loss. We are praying for your family during this time. Much love from your friends at Plum Creek Community Church, Castle Rock, CO.

From David and Dina Rankin...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Paul was certainly one of those amazing people that God uses to make a difference in our world. May God surround you with His love and peace during this difficult time. David, Dina, Josh and Laura Rankin

From Myrl Mortenson...

Mike & Julie,
Our heartfelt condolences to you and your entire family. We loved meeting and getting to know your folks during their KY visits. May you have the Savior’s love and comfort at this time is our prayer.
Yours sincerely, Myrl & Gayle

From Linda Carr Pickerel & family...

What a great help at Plymouth, Paul was, and what great friends Paul & Evelyn have been to my folks and our family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Evelyn, and all the Johnston family. What a blessing to have known such a good man.

From Gayla and Mark Schmitz...

Evelyn and family,
You are in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Paul was always so friendly and nice. We appreciated his friendship and all the work he did for the church over many years. Gayla and Mark

From Dick and Sue Ashcraft...

Paul will be sorely missed. What a wonderful man! Our family has been so blessed to have enjoyed Paul’s cheerful company over the years. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out all of your lovely family, Evelyn. Thanks for sharing Paul with so many of us.
Dick, Sue, Jim, and Erin

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From Theresa Kasparek...

I am so sorry for your family’s loss of such a kind and loving man. The times I have been to Paul and Evelyn’s home, he was so warm and welcoming and always smiling and joking. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Much love, Theresa Kasparek

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