Obituary: Pearl Don Johnston
August 4, 1923 – July 9, 2010
Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Special Friend
86 years is just too short.
Our Mom and Grandmother, daughter of Mamie Smith Hackley (Grockie) and Ernest Vest Hackley, passed away at peace. Mother of Nancy Hatley married to Jay, Anita Neeper married to Doug; and grandmother to their sons, Jon (and fiance Kaytrin) and Caleb; and friend to many. She missed our dad, Charles E. Johnston, very much. They are finally together again.
Pearl Don was born in Fayette, Mo., and traveled crosscounty with her parents to Hollywood, Calif., when only 6 months old. Lack of money during the Great Depression did not mean not having fun. Picnics in Griffith Park with friends and tracking strobe lights to openings of a gas station were some of her stories. She worked for Lockheed during World War II as a “Rosie the Riveter.” She and our dad met on St. Patrick’s Day at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church and married in 1947. The first “large city” and home was Atolia, Calif., along Hwy. 395. His job as a mining engineer took the family from mining tungsten and gold in Atolia to potash in Brazil and many places in between. Pearl Don and Charles celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family in Show Low, Ariz., and more than 200 letters from friends.
They moved to Nevada in 1988 after living in Brazil for 15 years. Pearl Don truly loved life, experiences and friends and was never the shy one. She rode on a B52 bomber that was on tour in Carson City and last year rode on the V & T Railroad from Carson City to Virginia City. Mom and Dad always enjoyed traveling to play bridge with friends in Sacramento and in Santa Cruz. After Charles died in 2007, Pearl Don enthusiastically volunteered at the Dayton Senior Center. She really enjoyed the activities and friendships, while wearing her T-shirts from around the world and fun hats.
Church and the church family have been an important part of Pearl Don’s life, always going to Sunday morning services, even on vacations. Snow did not stop Pearl Don from driving in to church in Carson City.
She loved her family and grandsons very much. We miss sharing already.
Memorial Service and Celebration of the Life of Pearl Don Johnston will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 31 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Family Church (adjacent to Carson High School), 1201 North Saliman Road, Carson City NV 89701. Bright colors, please!