Florence Joy Slack Johnston, 74, who spent a good deal of her life encouraging the weary, found her rest on Sept. 29, 1996 in Brigham City.
A talented teacher, pianist, homemaker, wife and mother, she always turned her talents outward for the benefit of others.As a pianist, she played solos or accompaniment on hundreds of occasions and was known in the community for a precise, yet heartfelt, style. As a teacher she taught in the elementary school system for 18 years. She was once named Teacher of the Day by KSL Radio. Dozens of her students returned to visit her in later years.
But Joy's true gift was for personal relationships where she showed an uncanny ability to brighten each heart, just as she brighten each note on the keyboard.
She is survived by her husband, J. Earl Johnston of Brigham City; her three sons, Jerry (wife, Carol), David (wife, Kathi) of Brigham City; and Val (wife, Kuniyo) of Honolulu. She was a grandmother of 14 and a great-grandmother of one.
She follows her parents, Arthur and Florence Rees Slack in death and precedes her sister, Jessie Lou Johnson of Logan.
Born on September 2, 1922 in Benson Ward, Utah, Joy refined her social and professional skills at Utah State University at a time few women went to college. She taught for two years before marrying J. Earl in the LDS Logan Temple on November 9, 1944. During the war, they lived in Nevada, Virginia, and Illinois. Afterward the two lived in Tooele for a time, settling in Brigham City in 1948 where J. Earl taught at Box Elder High School. Joy spent 17 years raising her boys, later returning to USU to complete her degree. She then re-entered the classroom as a second grade teacher at Mountain View Elementary.
Through the years, Joy served in both ward and stake callings, usually preferring to work with children or music.
In 1991-1992, she and J. Earl served a mission to Nauvoo, Ill., where she blossomed as a performer, instructor and a spiritual light.
She could be strict, playful and compassionate as the situation demanded. And among her talents was a disarming knack for sly observation. She once said no doctor should tell her how long she had to live, because she would accommodate him just to spare any embarrassment.
"If people would refer to `weeds' as `flowers', she once said, `the world would be a better place'". Joy Johnston spent her life looking at weeds and seeing flowers. Her genius was in making those weeds see the flower inside of themselves.
Due to renovations and maintenance in Joy's home ward and the stake center, the funeral services will be moved to the Brigham City Box Elder Tabernacle on Thursday, October 3, 1996 at 11 a.m. There will be a viewing at the Olsen-Myers Mortuary from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the evening of October 2nd, and from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the mortuary the day of the funeral. Interment in Brigham City Cemetery.
T 10/1 N 10/1