Verle L. Johnston Sr.

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Col Verle Lafayette Johnston, Sr., USAF (Ret), 85, of Goode, died Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at his residence. He was born Oct. 2, 1926 in Altoona, IA, a son of the late Blanche Watson Johnston and Joseph Trader Johnston. Verle attended Iowa State College and enlisted in the US Army in December 1943. He attended USMA Preparatory School from 1946-1947, competing for appointment to West Point. He entered West Point in July 1947 and graduated seventh in the Class of 1951. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in USAF in 1951. Verle served in the Korean War at K-9 near Pusan; flew 23 combat missions in the A-26 Douglas bomber mostly at night and mostly single aircraft missions. Verle retired from the USAF in August 1975 and moved to Bedford County where he led Bedford County Taxpayers League for two years. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors, District 7 in 1979. He was also appointed to the Bedford County Electoral Board in 1994 and served six years as Secretary. In addition to his parents, Verle was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Joan Callan Johnston and a daughter, Nancy Amos. He is survived by four children, Major General Verle L. Johnston, Jr. and his wife, Ada of Schenectady, NY, Ellen Shea Hortman and her husband, David of Red Lion, PA, Jamie Susan Woessner and her husband, Stephan of Satellite Beach, FL and Jean Marie Johnston of Lynchburg; ten grandchildren, Joseph Patrick Johnston, Mary Alice Johnston, Thomas Henry Amos, Melissa Erin Garcia and her husband, Philip, Gregory John Hortman and his wife, Corinne, Jeffery David Hortman and his wife, Heather, Jacob Mathias Woessner, Theresa Victoria Woessner, Emily Shannon Woessner and Courtney Leigh Knott; six great-grandchildren, Erin Celeste Garcia, Isabella Reece Garcia, Alaina Selene Garcia, Justus Jones Hortman, Asher Raub Hortman, and Jalynn Caed Hortman. Memorial contributions may be made to The Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, 1250 Red Hill Rd., Brookneal, VA 24528 or Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, 1307 Oakwood St., Bedford, VA 24523. A celebration of Verle's life was conducted at 11:00 AM, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Tharp Funeral Chapel with Deacon Raymond Roderique officiating. Burial followed in Virginia Memorial Park with military honors given by the National Guard. To send condolences, please visit Arrangements by Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, (540) 586-3443.

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Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory
320 North Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523-1928
(540) 586-3443
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Published in Bedford Bulletin from Sept. 12 to Sept. 13, 2012
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