Richard LaVerne Johnston

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Thank you to all of you who have supported us through this. Please enhance this tribute to Dick by adding your memories and photos. He probably would also appreciate a few good jokes!

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Zeller Chapel of the Roses

2107 Northeast Broadway Street
Portland, OR 97232
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“You were very special to me, and I'm thankful to have you a part of my life. I know you made my mother happy for many years. Rest in Peace. ”
1 of 1 | Posted by: Kim Wolf - Portland, OR


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Richard LaVerne "Dick" Johnston, a lifetime Portland resident was born on October 27, 1930 to Laverne and Marion (Eagle) Johnston. He attended Beaumont Grade school, Grant High School, University of Portland, and received his BS degree from Oregon State University.

In 1952, Dick was drafted into the US Army and was trained as a Field Radio Repairman in the Signal Corps. He then served thirteen months in Korea. Upon his discharge, he returned to his position in the Engineering Department of Southern Pacific Railroad. Dick held various positions over the years working with public agencies on crossing safety with the planning and construction of overpasses, underpasses and installation of crossing warning devices. His last years with the company he was the Administrative Engineer for their lines in Western Oregon and Northern California ending a 40 year career.

Dick was a Life Member of the Elks, a member of the American Legion, Korean War Veterans Association and a past vice president of the Association of Railroad Technical Employees. He was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church.

Over the years, he enjoyed most of the outdoor sports. Gardening was his main hobby and he was a Master Gardener Volunteer with the OSU Extension Service for many years. During the last seven years, Dick hosted students from Korea, Japan and China while they attend Portland State University to learn English and about our culture. In 2005, Dick went on a Korean War Veteran revisit trip to South Korea and was amazed at how modern and beautiful the country had become after seeing it demolished while serving there.

Prior to entering the service, Dick married his high school sweetheart, Joan Elliott and they had two daughters. They were later divorced. After several years, he married Dorothy "Betty" Wolf who passed away in 2004 after 36 years of marriage. They made trips to Australia and New Zealand where Betty was born and raised.

Dick is survived by his daughters, Nancy Zavada and Sally Stai and their husbands, Bob and Bob and his stepdaughters, Sherrie Wolf and Kim Wolf and their husbands, Peter and Lee. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Casey, Alex, Kate, Brittany, Sarah and Monica. Last but not least, his dog and constant companion, Goldie.

Dick requested remembrances be sent to the Oregon Humane Society or a charity of your choice.

A memorial service will be held on December 5th at 3:00pm at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church, 8147 SE Pine Street, Portland, Oregon.