Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville announces funeral services for Mr. Arthur Council Johnston, Jr., of Blairsville, who passed away on December 20, 2013 in Union County Nursing Home in Blairsville.
Mr. Johnston was born in Port Deposit, Maryland, on March 27, 1947. He attended Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida and Stetson College of Law, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Art served in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Sergeant, and was stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War. He was employed by the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville, Florida, as an Assistant State Attorney, retiring after 32 years. During part of his tenure, he was an Assistant State Attorney in the Juvenile Division, and as the opportunity presented itself would attempt to direct these young offenders to a new life in Christ. He loved the Lord and shared Him with everyone he could. While living in Jacksonville, he was reading the obituaries and much to his surprise, he thought he was looking at his own. A man with the same name as Art had passed away. We were kind of surprised that by the end of the day, we had not received any condolence calls, or flowers - for that matter.
He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was a loving, caring and protective husband. In fact, his advice to young men who were getting married was: You just need to know two words, "Yes, Dear" and it certainly worked for him for 48 years. Before she passed away, Art took care of his mother, Lillian Johnston, when she was ill. He would tube feed her and stay with her on weekends until she had to be admitted to a nursing home. He would take her on rides in the car and sing old songs she liked. He enjoyed helping people and on many occasions he would buy meals for anyone he came across who was in need.
In 48 years, he was always there when I needed him. One time I backed out of our garage and accidentally hit his car parked in the driveway and became stuck to his car. I tried unsuccessfully to disengage the cars but failed. I just starting blowing the horn and he came running out of the house and could not believe his eyes. He said, "What have you done?" I told him it was his fault. He normally parked his car in a garage on the back of our property, so I was not expecting his car to be there. He got the cars separated, went back in the house, and I went on my way. Once I drove into a very short post at a parking lot and ended up doing about $1500.00 worth of damage. I called him crying and his first question was, "Are you alright? Cars can be replaced, you can't."
Art attended First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida and was the Master Bible Teacher for Fourth Grade Boys for over 20 years and served as a deacon. Upon retirement, he and his wife moved to his beloved North Georgia Mountains, and became members of First Baptist Church of Blairsville. Art enjoyed flower gardening and writing poetry. An animal lover, he would make sure to feed the deer corn year round, and delighted in watching them. He had about 11 dog food bowls he sat around in our backyard. Every evening Art would go out and clean each bowl with a paper towel and then fill them with corn for the deer. I asked him why in the world he bothered to clean out the bowls for, and his reply was, " Would you like to eat out of a dirty bowl?" Although he loved the deer, he was not particularly fond of squirrels. They would eat the birdseed he had put out for the birds. I bought him a huge water rifle and he would stand on the porch and shoot water at the squirrels to encourage them to leave the birdseed along. He wasn't very successful.
Loving family members left to treasure Art's memory are his wife of 48 years, Sharon H. Johnston; a son, Michael E. Johnston, Sr, and daughter-in-law, Margaret R. Johnston; five precious grandchildren: Alana M. Johnston, Michael E. Johnston, Jr., Madison M. Johnston, Anderson W. Johnston, and Alexander W. Johnston. Three sisters: Bettye Poole and her husband, Carl, of Ocala, Florida; Ruth Donath and her husband, Louie of Daytona Beach, Florida; Dorothy Buchanan and her husband Jimmy, also of Daytona Beach; he had been preceded in death by his father, Arthur C. Johnston, Sr., and mother Lillian Johnston.
Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, December 23, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., in the Chapel of Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville, with Rev. Danny Parris and Dr. Fred Lodge officiating. Burial will be in Union Memory Gardens Cemetery in Blairsville. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Sunday evening, December 22, 2013, between the hours of 2 until 5 p.m.
The family has requested that memorial contributions be directed to Union County Nursing Home, 164 Nursing Home Circle, Blairsville, Georgia 30512.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville. Please share your condolences, and fond memories with Art's family on our website, www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.