Joseph S. Johnston

October 10, 1934 - July 10, 2017
Joseph S. Johnston


Joseph S. “Joe” Johnston, age 82 of Scotts Hill in Wilmington passed away Monday, July 10, 2017.

Joe was born in Pitt County on October 10, 1934 to Joseph and Margaret Hatton Johnston.

The family will see friends from 6 to 8 pm Friday, July 14, 2017 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.

Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held 11 am Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Myrtle Grove Baptist Church, 5524 Myrtle Grove Rd., Wilmington, NC 28409, officiated by Rev. Aaron Lee. Joe’s urn will be placed in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Joe’s grandsons and grandsons-in-law will serve as Pallbearers and the Honorary Pallbearers will be members of Joe’s beloved Arab Choo Choo.

Joe is survived by his wife of 35 years, Estelle Johnston; children, Joey Johnston, Debbie Tyson (Donnie), and Tim Hawkins (Denise); grandchildren, Josh Johnston, Camden Johnston, Alison and Jeremy Blessing, Laura and Jason Harper, Anthony Hawkins, Andrew and Hillary Hawkins, Sara and Matt Floyd; great grandchildren, Haley, Luke, Landon, Charlotte, Anna and Jameson.

Joe was preceded in death by brothers, Steve and Tom Johnston; sisters, Christine Albritton, Everdene Tetterton, Hilda Buck and Jean Switzer.

Joe joined the National Guard and was later drafted into the US Army. After 6 years of active duty, he was accepted into Officers Candidate School and received a commission as 2nd Lt. He rose to the rank of Capt. and spent the next 10 years as an Army Officer in CA, GA, VA, Vietnam, and Germany. He spent the last years of service at Ft. Bragg, retiring in 1978 with the rank of Major. He was proud of his military service and kept fond memories of those 27 years. After his Army retirement, Joe worked for Coastal Dry Cleaners for 20 years.

Joe was a member of St. Johns Lodge # 1 AF&AM, Wilmington York Rite Bodies, Sudan Shrine Center, Wilmington Shrine Club, Arab Choo Choo Shrine Unit, Royal Order of Jesters, ARME Chapter OES,  Military Officers Association, and National Sojourners.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or the Lower
Cape Fear Hospice Foundation.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403  910-791-9099

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  • July 12, 2017
    Louis & Frankie Saunders (mail carrier) lit a candle:
    Lit since July 12, 2017 at 7:53:10 AM

  • July 12, 2017
    Richard and Janet Tyaon says:
    Joe Johnston

  • July 13, 2017
    Janet Hester says:
    Estelle, Our prayers and thoughts are with you..Joe was so sweet and kind, He will be missed.Our deepest sympathy to you and family

  • July 14, 2017
    Jo Lynn Switzer Wade, niece says:
    I have such fond childhood memories of Uncle Joe coming to visit and making whistles, bows, and arrows from the bamboo that grew near my grandmother's home. I also remember collecting my grandmother's mail and running toward her home to deliver the small white envelopes bordered in red and blue which meant that it was a letter from Uncle Joe during his tours of duty in Vietnam. My grandmother would smile and hurriedly open the letter. My most recent memory of Uncle Joe was having him sit by my side during my mother's funeral in December. We shared the same namesake, his father and my grandfather, and he was so special!