Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obituary: Berna "Bernie" L. Johnston

Berna L. Johnston
Sept. 14, 1921 – Aug. 11, 2009

Berna “Bernie” L. Johnston, 87, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at his home in Lemitar, N.M., surrounded by his family. He was born Sept. 14, 1921, in Grady, N.M., to Dallas and Yola (Lobban) Johnston.
Bernie lived in Belen, N.M., for 25 years before moving to the Socorro, N.M., area, where he had resided for the past 37 years. Bernie was a veteran of World War II, in which he served in the Army Air Corps in the European theater.
He was a waist gunner in a B17. After the war, he became a honey producer and served as president and/or executive secretary of the American Honey Producer’s Association for seven years. Bernie spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C., educating public servants to the needs of the American honey producer.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Ray Johnston; sister, Rita McCormack; and grandson, Marty Burris. Bernie is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Pansy Lear Johnston; sons: Ronnie Johnston and wife, Addie; and Larry Johnston and wife, Pat; daughters: Jeanne Burris and husband, Lewis; and Donna Boston and husband, Max; brother, Buren Johnston, of Clovis, N.M.; sisters: Gladys Gordon of San Jon, N.M.; and Cora Henson of Clovis; 15 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
Services were at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009, at the First Baptist Church in Socorro with Rev. Bob Farmer officiating. Burial will be in the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.
Honorary pallbearers will be all of Bernie’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the First Baptist Church, PO Box 1126, Socorro, NM 87801, or to the Socorro Hospice Program, PO Box 1009, Socorro, NM 87801.
The family wishes to thank Socorro Hospice for the excellent care and support they provided during this difficult time. Arrangements by Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, Socorro.

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