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Hendersonville - John D. Johnston, Jr. died on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at his home on Skipper Ridge in Henderson County, North Carolina. Born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 1, 1932, he was the son of John D. Johnston and Marion Green Johnston. He attended Asheville High School, where he was President of the student body, and Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar. In 1956, he received his LL.B from Duke University Law School, where he was a Member of the Editorial Board of the Duke Bar Journal. Following a brief career in private practice with J.P. Morgan & Company in New York and Wright & Shuford, attorneys in Asheville, he began his career as a law teacher in 1962 at Duke Law School. He taught at New York University Law School from 1969 until he retired in 1990 as Professor of Law Emeritus.
He was a scholar of legal topics many consider dull - property law, trusts and estates and land use regulation - but his classes were always packed because he was a brilliant teacher who made these subjects come alive for generations of law students.
He leaves to mourn him his wife of 40 years, Diana Armatage Johnston, his sister, Aileen Trollinger, 6 children from a prior marriage to the late Beryl Roberts Watson (Catherine Harris, Patricia Thayer, Joy Christian, Laura Johnston, Jackie Swanson and John D. Johnston III), 2 step-daughters (Rebecca Murray and Megan Murray), 17 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson and many friends and former students. Services will be private. Memorials may be made in his honor to MANNA FoodBank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805.
Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent through the website www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 24, 2011