2018-02-08 / Obituaries



Duane Hamilton Johnston, age 95, formerly of Bad Axe, passed away peacefully at Candlestone Assisted Living, Midland, on January 31, 2018. He was born on June 28, 1922, in Bloomfield Township, Huron

County, son of Wesley and

Margaret (Stewart) Johnston.

He married Vivian Graf on

June 26, 1948 at Gethsemane

Lutheran Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Duane attended the Red and Redman Rural Schools, and graduated from Port Hope High School in 1940. He attended Wheaton College and the Cosmopolitan School of Music, Chicago, Illinois. He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Army in the Philippine Islands.

He and his father were beekeepers and honey producers for many years. He sang and played for many weddings and funerals in Huron County. Duane also taught organ and voice lessons. In 1957 Duane graduated from piano tuning school in Chicago, and tuned and repaired pianos in the Thumb area for 40 years.

Duane’s hobbies included playing the organ, reading, traveling, and building and flying radio controlled airplanes. Duane and Vivian were both musicians and served the First Baptist Church, Bad Axe, as choir director and organist for 23 years. They also attended the Free Methodist Church.

Duane and Vivian lived in Bad Axe for 57 years, then moved to Grand Rapids, to be closer to two of their three children. They had 10 wonderful years in Grand Rapids, attending concerts and enjoying the Tuesday noon recitals and soup lunches at Park Church. They made new friends within their condo association and at the First Evangelical Covenant Church. Duane’s final two years were spent at Candlestone Assisted Living, in Midland.

Surviving are his wife, Vivian; sister, Marjorie Bairski; children, Patti Bowen, Nancy (Bob) Schoofs, and Larry (Diane) Johnston; grandchildren, Ben (Christina) Schoofs, Katie (Danny) Morris, Sam (Elizabeth) Schoofs, and Megan (Nate) Smith; great-grandchildren, Jaxon and Sienna Morris, Ty Smith, Natalie, Alexis, Brooklyn, Levi and Noah Schoofs, and Vivian, Susannah, and Samantha Schoofs. Duane was predeceased by his sister, Kathryn Jones; his two brothers-in-law, John C. Jones and Robert Bairski; and his great-granddaughter, Caitlin Schoofs.

A funeral service was held at MacAlpine Funeral Home, Bad Axe. The family is extremely grateful to the hospice nurses from Hometown Home Health and Hospice and the caregivers at Candlestone Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Memorials may be offered in Duane’s name to the Free Methodist Church of Bad Axe. Condolences can be shared at: www.macalpinefuneralhome.com

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 Huron County View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2018-02-08 digital edition