Patricia Mae Johnston (Pat), 87, of Grand Junction, CO passed away on February 17, 2023. Pat was born on May 6, 1935 in Curve, TN, to Charlie and Olivia Dove.
Pat’s early childhood was spent in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Palisade, CO. Sadly, when Pat was 16, her mother passed away unexpectedly. Pat and her father settled in Palisade, where she helped her father run the peach orchard that was owned by her Uncle Floyd (Palisade’s town medical doctor). She grew up spending summer months with her grandma and grandpa Harvey, where her grandfather taught her to flyfish from the age of three years old. When she recalled her childhood, she always spoke about how much she enjoyed hanging with her dog, Tip and how she put him in her bike basket and rode around town.
Pat graduated Palisade High School and went on to receive her associates from Mesa College.
During her college years, Pat met and became engaged to her husband, Elwyn John Johnston (Bud). They married shortly after she graduated and she became an instant mother of two boys, John (3) and Jerry (2), who were both ring bearers for their marriage ceremony. Pat and Bud grew their family with the addition of two daughters (DeAnna and Christa)
Upon starting her life with Bud, she began work at Salt Lake Hardware as an accountant. She continued working there until selling their farm on 20 Road. At this time, Pat and Bud relocated to 524 N. Maple Street, where they spent the rest of their years together. Pat held a variety of jobs that spoke to her passions and skillsets, including working for the Parks Department doing guide work. Ultimately, Pat retired from the Grand Junction Regional Center for the State of Colorado, where she was a medical transcriptionist for over 20 years and made many strong friendships.
Pat was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she spent many years in service of the church. Her boys fondly remember serving alongside their mother as caretakers for the church. Pat was also a Primary Sunday School teacher, touching the lives of many. Pat had a beautiful voice and gave service through song as a member of the church choir. Pat even received an invite to try out for the renowned Tabernacle Choir. Starting in 1961, Pat began serving as a troop leader for the Boy Scouts, which aligned perfectly with her love for the outdoors. Pat was proud of all of her service to the church and frequently shared stories with her loved ones about her time with the scouts.
Summer vacations with her children, the family would take years alternating between going to California (to spend time with her Great Aunt Lena) and going to the Grand Mesa (to camp, fish, and venturing). Pat’s uncle and aunt, Dr. Floyd and Lena Weidlein had a cabin on Grand Mesa for a period, and she continued to enjoy going up on the Mesa throughout her life teaching her kids and grandkids the art of fly fishing, just as she had learned.
To say Pat enjoyed her time in the outdoors is an understatement. Her favorite activities included ATVing, camping, fishing, fly tying, and hunting. Pat never turned down an opportunity to hunt, whether it was rabbit or big game, even in a time where it was not accepted by some who thought woman did not belong in the field hunting, nor gun reloading. Pat especially enjoyed her time in South Canyon, the site of many family gatherings and many hunting camps. Her time spent in hunting camp went far beyond hunting – it was a concentrated time for laughing, loving, imagining, exploring, and enjoying family.
Pat had many other hobbies - including sewing, painting ceramics, yodeling, and decorating wedding cakes. She loved watching her grandchildren grow; and later, loved seeing them welcome their own children, making her a great grandmother. She shared and passed down her love for and knowledge of all her various hobbies. Those she leaves behind will remember her as they build their own quilts, as they bake and decorate their own cakes, as they over-prepare for their own trips, and among many other moments, as they explore the typically unexplored. And as a breeze passes in their favorite outdoor spot, we will also remember how they “never really heard Pat yodel” - instead, they were hearing the talking and singing of the wind.
Pat is proceeded in death by her parents (Charlie and Olivia (Mariam Olivia Harvey Royal Dove), brother, (Baby David Frederick Royal), and husband of 66 years (Elwyn). Pat is survived by her sons John and Jerry (Rodella); daughters DeAnna (James, Travis) and Christa (Michael); grandchildren Emily, Rob, Pamela, Ty, Lysandra (whom she raised), James, Joshua, Sarah, Billie, Kaylie, Kylie; and great grandchildren Hunter, Stella, Laura, Kasen, Eleanor (Ellie), and Kolton.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, February 28th, 2023, at 1pm (family viewing 1-2pm) at the Redlands Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2235 Kingston Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81503. Graveside service immediately follows at New Elmwood Cemetery, 1175 17 1/4 Road, Fruita, CO 81521.
Services have been entrusted to Browns Cremation and Funeral Services.