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Wilbur “Bill” Johnston(1926 – 2013)

Bill Johnston passed away on January 16, 2013, in his home in Rancho Bernardo surrounded by family. He was born February 10, 1926, in Kirksfield, MO, to Dr. and Mrs. Wilbur Hull Johnston.
Dr. Johnston's family moved to the small town of Northville, Michigan, where Bill's sister, Patricia, was born. Though he spent his childhood during the "Great Depression", his stories of his childhood were happy and joyful. Bill also met the love of his life, Lois Church, there.
During WWll he attended Albion College. In 1944, at age 18, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he was trained for one of the most dangerous assignments of the Army Air Corp, a bomber crewman on a PBY flying boat.
After WWll, he returned to college and graduated with honors from Albion College. He was a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon and Delta Tau Delta. One year later he received a second degree in Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the University of Michigan. He then returned to Northville where he married the love of his life, Lois.
After their first child, David, was born, they moved to San Diego where he lived for the rest of his life. Their second child, Sarah, was born in 1953.
Bill worked at IBM, who in 1951, provided advanced training for his career in Engineering. Then came Convair, GEC and Singer Kearfott. While working at Singer Kearfott, he was the project manager and successfully improved the guidance system for the Atlas ICBM Missile. He also invented a system to test circuit boards for continuity while at Convair. He was paid $41.50 and given a watch.
Bill and Lois had many friends and socialized frequently, spending time on the beaches of San Diego and Mexico, and the deserts of Palm Springs. After retirement the two traveled extensively to many physically demanding locations around the world, taking their granddaughters on trips to Greece and Costa Rica.
They were founding members of the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church. He was on committees and deeply involved with the church's Missionary work in Mexico.
Bill's hobbies were his family, making miniature radios, taking the family sailing and camping, playing the harmonica, piano, and guitar, and spending time at the gym. He frequented the library reading many diverse books. He spent time with his relatives in Michigan throughout his life. In his later years he spent an extensive amount of time with his three grand-daughters.
He and Lois were patrons of musical programs and stage productions, often including his daughter and son-in-law.
Bill is survived by his wife, Lois; son, David (Rose) Johnston; daughter, Sarah (Darrell) Hatcher; sister, Patricia (Richard) Foor; nieces, Pam and Judy; granddaughters, Courtney (Tristan), Alice and Audrey; and great-grandson, Andrew.
Services with Military Honors will be held at the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at 11:30 am.
Published in the Pomerado News on Jan. 31, 2013
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