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Harry Lester Johnston, 88

Harry Lester Johnston was born on April 24, 1931 in Scottsbluff, NE to Harry Phillip and Hulda (Neubauer) Johnston. Harry and his mother returned by train to their home in the Sandhills when he was one week old. Harry was the seventh of eight children.

Harry passed away on August 1, 2019 in Broken Bow, NE at the age of 88.

Harry attended country schools near Purdum, Springview and Cottonwood, graduating from Dunning High School in 1949. Harry lost his Dad when he was 12 years old so he started working out at a young age. He worked at the Robinson store in Dunning and worked for a carpenter in Halsey. Harry worked for various ranchers in the area and broke horses on the side. Some horses he would ride during his lunch hour at school. One of his favorite jobs was working for Buck Athey, driving the new cars to Brewster that Buck would sell. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up he said “a cowboy.”

October 15, 1950 Harry married Naomi Alnetta Dishman. To this union were born Harry Kenneth, Karen Jean, Kay Lee and Kody Archie.

In 1956 Harry and Naomi gave their hearts to Christ and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Harry and Naomi made a living working for various ranchers around the Dunning, Purdum, Elsmere and Brewster areas. In 1969 they moved to their own ranch north of Brewster. Harry loved ranching, his cows and his horses. He semi-retired from ranching when he turned 80. Harry continued to help work cows, check pastures and calve out. His two favorites were pairing out and mowing in the hayfield until he retired full-time at age 86.

Harry was preceded in death by his wife, Naomi; infant son, Kody; sonin-law, Max Fay; parents; brothers and their wives, Phil and Sue Johnston and Bob and Donna Johnston; sisters and their husbands, Rosa and Buck Athey, Ruth and Rod Post and Martha and Pete Chrisman; infant brother, Roy and infant sister, June; sisters-in-law, Fona Hall, Norma Davis and Jane Dishman; brothers-in-law, Don and Bob Dishman and Delmer Hall.

Harry is survived by son, Ken (Sue) of Brewster, NE; daughters, Karen Fay of Purdum,NE and Kay (Dan) Schenck of St. Paul, NE; grandchildren, Tessia Johnston, Trisha (Johnston) and Marty Christensen, Wyatt and Yolanda Johnston, Teri Johnston, Mindy (Fay) and Shane Clapper and Max and Cristin Fay; great-grandchildren, Mason, Micah and Katie Christensen and Harley, Penelope and Sutton Johnston; brother-in-law, Dale (Eveyln) Dishman and Paul Davis Junior; sister-in-law, Mina Dishman; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Service was held at the Brewster Community Center on Wednesday, August 7th with Pastor Joseph Carty officiating. Burial was at the Brewster Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Brewster Community Center or the Brewster Fire Department.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

921 E. 4th St.
P.O. Box 145
Ainsworth, NE 69210
PH: (402) 387-2844
FAX: (402) 387-1234

Valentine Midland News

146 W. 2nd St.
P.O. Box 448
Valentine, NE 69201
PH: (402) 376-2833
FAX: (402) 376-1946

Gregory Times-Advocate

119 E. 7th St.
P.O. Box 378
Gregory, SD 57533
PH: (605) 835-8089
FAX: (605) 835-8467