Memorial services for Walter L. Johnston, 86, of Palestine will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Bailey & Foster Chapel, with the Rev. Wade Hobbs and Dr. Daniel Gold officiating. Arrangements are under direction of Bailey & Foster Palestine.
Mr. Johnston passed away Thursday, June 6, 2013, at Cartmell Home for Aged. He was born in Palestine to Walter Edgar and Lottie Mae Griffith Johnston on Oct. 26, 1926. He was one of the early Eagle Scouts in Anderson County, earning bronze, gold and silver palms, graduated from Palestine High School in 1944, served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in World War II
and Korea. He was in the Medical Service Corps in WWII and retired as lieutenant in Naval Intelligence in 1966. His education included a bachelor's degree in organic chemistry, a master's degree in industrial engineering and a doctorate in geriatric nutrition. He was a registered professional safety engineer in the state of California and a registered professional refining engineer in Venezuela. He was awarded two honorary doctorates of humanities, both for services to denominational church schools; one in Las Piedras, Falcon in Venezuela (Evangelical Free Church) and the other in Balang, Bataan in the Philippines (Methodist Church). He married his Baylor University sweetheart, Mary Helen Roberts, on Nov. 24, 1949.
Mr. Johnston was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Mary Helen Johnston; only son, Dr. Walter L. Johnston Jr. and wife Elise, of Dallas; only daughter, Mary Joanna Atkins and husband Donald R. Atkins Jr., of Porter; grandchildren, Jacob A. Atkins and wife Katie, of Spring, and Meredith Blount-Miller and husband Russell, of San Marcos.
Mr. Johnston spent 30-plus years overseas with the Exxon group beginning in 1949 as a junior chemist with Humble Oil and Refining Co. in Houston, retiring as executive director in the Arabian American Oil Co. (Aramco) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1986. During overseas employment he traveled extensively with the family, including 11 trips around the world.
He published various technical articles on environmental affairs, numismatics, safety, and industrial security; published a book in 1974 on industrial security and received recognition as a Published Poet in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Mr. Johnston was a longtime member of the Palestine Rotary Club
and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Since retirement he served on boards of directors of Palestine Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross, Palestine Rotary Club, and Cartmell Home for Aged. He was a long-term volunteer at the Palestine Public Library, the Palestine Regional Medical Center, the Cartmell Home for Aged, Palestine YMCA and gave 71 tours of the Palestine city and Dogwood areas to tour buses as a "step-on guide" for the Palestine Visitor's Bureau.
One of his greatest joys was being with and loving his extended family, both those he leaves here and those in Heaven he will be with.
Honorary pallbearers will be all those he had the privilege of serving with on a volunteer basis and shared his love of service to others.
In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be sent to Cartmell Home for Aged, 2212 W. Reagan St., Palestine, 75801.
To sign the guestbook go to www.baileyandfosterfuneralhome.com