August 8, 1951 - December 25, 2020
Diane L. Johnston, 69, of Traverse City, Michigan, passed away December 25th, 2020, just as Christmas Eve turned into Christmas morning, surrounded by her adoring husband and two children. Diane was born August 8th, 1951, in Hart, Michigan to the late Lyle Sheldon and Evelyn (Carlson) Sheldon. She was the youngest of three girls and leaves behind her two sisters, Jeanne Rought and Carol Herrygers. The three sisters grew up on a farm west of Shelby, Michigan, where she learned the value of hard work. Her participation in 4H gave her skills that she would share throughout her life. From the early age of 11, Diane knew she would grow up to be a nurse. She studied hard and excelled in her classes. After graduating from Shelby High School in 1969, she went on to complete Nurses Training at The Hackley School of Nursing in Muskegon in 1972. At the age of 17, she met her partner for life, Charlie Johnston. They were married when she was 21, and moved north to begin their lives together in Traverse City, MI. Charlie and Diane had their first son, Andrew Johnston (47), the next year. Nine years later, their daughter, Emily Moore (38), was born. Later they lost a son, Peter, before he was born. Diane worked as a brilliant and dedicated nurse for 32 years at Munson Hospital in Traverse City. She spent 4 years working as an OB nurse before moving to the NICU. She received her certification as a lactation consultant during that time as well. She loved the babies in the NICU, and she loved every other baby (and dog) she ever met as well. Eventually, she moved to the Medical Procedure Room, where she finished her career, retiring only when health issues necessitated. Although retired, Diane never stopped being a nurse, giving advice and counsel whenever asked or if she sensed the need. Diane was a woman of strong faith, and her love for the Lord was evident in everything she did. She was introduced to her Savior, Jesus Christ, by Reverend Ron Houk and his wife, Annabelle, at an early age, and they nurtured and guided her through her teen years. Her lifetime of faith can be seen by leafing through her worn and tattered Bible with its many notations. Prominent among them is the following: “Jesus first, others second, you last.” She loved those in her life in a way impossible to put into words, as all who knew her would attest. These include daughter-in-law Hollie Yu Johnston, son-in-law Phil Moore, brothers-in-law Merle Rought and Paul Johnston and Paul’s wife Anna Battigelli, sister-in-law Loretta Johnston, and Randy Gephardt, her sister Carol’s long-time partner. There was never a day she didn’t put the needs of others before her own. She was selfless to a fault, often making light of her health concerns so as not to burden others. She was a friend to all, and will be dearly missed by those lucky enough to have been blessed by her friendship. Diane’s love for others was never so clear as it was in how she loved her family. She loved them in a way that has and will continue to make them all better people. She loved her husband of 48 years, Charlie, and he feels so blessed to have shared the many years with her that he did. They were best friends and constant companions, spending nearly every day of their lives together starting the day of their marriage. The only thing to ever separate them was work. Charlie will always fondly remember their many adventures together, including a 30th anniversary trip to Hawaii and a bucket list trip to Ireland in 2017. In 2003 they joined their daughter Emily in Spain to celebrate her 21st birthday while she studied abroad for the semester. More meaningful than their experiences abroad are the many trips back to their home county of Oceana, where they would spend time around her birthday with friends and family each August. Pentwater will always hold a special place in all our hearts because of our family history there, and Charlie will always remember fondly the many sunsets watched together near the pier. Diane never considered living anywhere other than near Lake Michigan. At the age of 59, Diane was given the gift of life when she received a kidney from an altruistic donor, Vikki Morley. Vikki wanted to make the world a better place and she certainly did through her priceless gift to Diane. Diane and Charlie were later able to thank Vikki and her husband Scott, and have remained in touch ever since. To make the transplant possible, a dear and longtime friend, Diane Sievert, donated a kidney to another in need through paired exchange. Others who volunteered to donate out of their love for Diane include Chris White, Barb Wyns and Terry Sievert. Diane loved her children Andrew and Emily in such a way that they always knew they were supported and loved dearly. It was unusual if they went more than a day without speaking with her. Additionally, she spent the last eight years of her life living her dream of becoming a grandmother. Her three grandchildren, Charlie (8), Eloise (6) and Lydia (3), loved their Nana with unbridled adoration, a feeling that was definitely mutual. Diane’s face lit up with pure joy every time she saw them, which was nearly daily. Her love for them shaped the first, most important years of their lives and we are forever grateful for the years they shared together. Our only wish was for them to have had more time with her. Diane’s death leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled, but we will all do our best to live our lives according to her example: with faith and love for others above ourselves. An outdoor garden memorial service will take place this summer at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Details will be forthcoming as the time draws near. Please visit Diane’s memorial page at: https://www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com/obituaries/Diane-Johnston-2/. The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Diane L. Johnston, 69, of Traverse City, Michigan, passed away December 25th, 2020, just as Christmas Eve turned into Christmas morning, surrounded by her adoring husband and two children. Diane was born August 8th, 1951, in Hart, Michigan to... View Obituary & Service Information
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