Funeral services for Evelyn Marie (Griffith) Johnston, 77, rural Lawrence, will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Plymouth Congregational Church. Private inurnment at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Douglas County, KS will follow at a later date. The Rev. Dr. Peter A. Luckey will officiate.
She was born on April 20, 1936 in Lawrence, KS. She died February 26, 2014 at home in rural Lawrence, KS. During that time she led a life filled with giving and love of family and friends.
Evelyn attended grade school at Pleasant Valley in rural Douglas County. While growing up, she was a member of the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club in Douglas County. She was active in the clothing, foods, citizenship, and leadership projects. She was named the state winner of the “4-H Cherry Pie Baking Contest” and enjoyed playing softball on the 4-H team. Evelyn graduated from Lawrence High School in 1954. She married Paul L. Johnston on August 7, 1955 at the First United Methodist Church in Lawrence. He preceded her in death on November 22, 2012.
Evelyn was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church for 52 years. During that time she served as Church School Superintendent for five years, was a member of the Board of Deacons and Board of Christian Education and taught numerous Sunday School classes.
Evelyn enjoyed working with youth. She served as an officer for the PTO at Wakarusa Valley Elementary School and on the advisory council at South Jr. High. She traveled as a sponsor with the Lawrence High School band and orchestra on trips to Portland, OR, St. Louis, MO, and Washington, D.C. She also served the 4-H youth of Douglas County in many ways. She was a 4-H leader for 30 years for the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club. Evelyn served as a sponsor for the 4-H Citizenship Conference in Washington, D.C. She served on the 4-H Program Development Committee, the Extension Executive Board, and the Douglas County 4-H Foundation Board. She served as a fair superintendent for approximately 40 years, assisted in the concession stand and with judging contests and sponsored fair awards. Evelyn received the Douglas County 4-H Family Award, the Friend of 4-H Award, and the Friend of the Fair Award.
After retiring from food service in USD 497, Evelyn enjoyed quilting. She made quilts for all of the children and grandchildren and as gifts for many. She enjoyed sharing her beautiful quilts and wall hangings with others. It was a great joy to open gifts at Christmas, graduations, weddings, birthdays and other special events to see what her skilled hands had created just for you. Family gatherings were a great joy. Watching everyone race around the yard hunting for eggs at Easter or setting down to eat a meal she had prepared brought a smile to her face. It was very important to Evelyn to attend activities involving her grandchildren. “Grandma Amy” could be found at all sporting events, band and orchestra concerts, plays, music programs, talent shows, and awards programs.
Evelyn is survived by her children Paula (husband David) Aiken, Mike (wife Julie), Merlin (wife Susan), Mark (wife Terra), and Penny (husband Clark) Eschliman; 11 grandchildren: Josh (Jennifer), Molly (Seth), Jake (Meghan), Micah, Katie, Jared, David, 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. She is also survived by many other relatives and friends who loved her dearly.
Friends may call from noon to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, where the family will receive them from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.
The family suggests memorials in her name to the Douglas County 4-H Foundation, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS, 66044.