O.G. Johnston

GLADEWATER - Services for O.G. Johnston, 85, of Gladewater, will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church with the Rev. B.F. Risinger and the Rev. Bailey Harris officiating. Burial will be in Rosedale Cemetery.

Born on May 30, 1927, in Gladewater to Charles Bert and Mary Pearle Shirey Johnston, he was a great-great-grandson of John K. Armstrong, who settled in Gladewater in 1844. He died on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.

A 1944 graduate of Gladewater High School, he was a member of the GHS band under the direction of Alto Tatum and an all-state drummer for four years.

In 1948, he received his Bachelor's Degree from Baylor University and his Master's Degree in 1951. Also, he received counselor certification from Stephen F. Austin and an Administration Certificate from East Texas State University.

O.G. began his teaching career at Union Grove teaching seventh and eighth grade math. In 1956, he began teaching seventh and eighth grade math in the Gladewater Independent School District. His math group won first in state in number sense for two years. He enjoyed coaching seventh grade football.

After teaching several years, he became high school counselor. He held this position for several years and was in charge of the National Honor Society. He became principal at Weldon Middle School and then served as assistant superintendent for 16 years and superintendent of the Gladewater Independent School District for five years. In 1991, he retired after 40 years of service.

On June 20, 1953, he married Georgia Ruth White in Clarksville, Ark.

He was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church and ordained as a deacon in 1956. In 2007, he was given a certificate for 65-plus years of service in the church. In the early 1950s, he began directing the youth choir and also directed the adult choir when needed. He served as chairman of the deacons and on various church committees.

O.G. was a city council member and served as mayor of Gladewater for several years. He was a member of the Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris fellow. He was elected as a board member of Kilgore College. He served as board chairman for several years. Soon after retirement, he and his wife became master gardeners. They helped at Texas A&M Plant Research Center in Overton.

He is survived by his wife, Georgia Ruth Johnston, of Gladewater; daughter, Carol Ann Johnston, of Carlisle, Pa.; daughter and son-in-law, Donna Johnston and Joe Niehus, of Sherman; two grandchildren, Katie and Karlie Niehus; sister-in-law, Barbara Johnston ,of Gladewater; and several nieces and nephews.

If so desired, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1444, Gladewater, 75647.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.

He will be sorely missed as a former superintendent of schools, an outstanding civic leader and a member of a pioneer Gladewater family.

Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Dec. 2, 2012