George Johnston(1922 - 2014)

SHERMAN - George Lee (Hap) Johnston, 92, of Sherman passed away on Sunday, March 16,, 2014 at Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veteran Home in Bonham, Texas.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 20 at Cedarlawn Memorial Park in Denison, Texas. Reverend Neil Morgan will officiate. The family will receive friends at Dannel Funeral home from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19.

Hap was born on March 6, 1922 in Etowah, Tenn. the son of Will A. Johnston and Carrie Ferguson. He was the youngest of four brothers. He graduated from Etowah High School and served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1943. In 1944 he moved to Texas. He married Nancy Myrick in September of 1945 in Rockwall, Texas.

Hap got his nickname from his family back in Tennessee. As a young boy, they called him "Happy" because of his ever present smile and positive outlook on life. Hap had excellent mechanical skills and quickly learned the watchmaking trade from his brother Sam. He began repairing pocket watches for him at a young age. He was a watchmaker and jewelry retailer for many years in Sherman and also had a store in Bonham.

He later leased jewelry departments in Gibson's stores throughout Dallas and North Texas with his brother Riley. Over the years he had the opportunity to share his knowledge of watchmaking with others. He trained several people including his own son, Tim, who opened Johnston Jewelry in downtown Sherman in 1985.

Hap enjoyed spending time with his two granddaughters, Nicole and Tara, who called him PawPaw. They went on many outside adventures and walks together. Hap had a love of nature and spent a lot of time in the yard growing grape vines and trees and tending to the neighborhood lake.

In addition to being a watchmaker, Hap always enjoyed working on other mechanical devices and electronics. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he worked at an airplane plant in Detroit where he was instrumental in making improvements to their P51 fighter plane. In his shop at home, he always had a project to keep him busy.

He was also a ham radio operator from the late 1950s to the mid 1990s.

Hap was preceded in death by his father, mother, and four brothers, Sam, Herman, Riley, and Bill. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Nancy of Sherman; sons Terry and Tim Johnston of Sherman; granddaughters Nicole Barnes and husband Steven of Tom Bean, Texas and Tara Johnston of Sherman, Texas; and a great granddaughter Deven Barnes of Tom Bean.

Memorial donations may be made at or mailed to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.

Arrangements are under the direction of Dannel Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be registered at

Funeral Home

Dannel Funeral Home - Sherman
302 S. Walnut St. Sherman, TX 75090
(903) 893-1172

Published in The Herald Democrat from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2014