HAL JOHNSTON passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the age of 98, joining
his beloved wife, HELEN JOHNSTON. Born in Carrollton, MS on March 9, 1921, he enjoyed a
successful career in banking working for many years at the Capital Street branch of Sunburst
Hal was a steadfast member of St Matthews United Methodist Church in Madison since its
founding and a regular attendee of The Walter Scott Coffee Club, Jackson Central Lions Club,
Mississippi Home Builders Association and the Mississippi Manufacturer’s Association. With his
membership in the Hinds County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hal combined his
enjoyment of the outdoors with community and civil service. He relished free time deer
hunting as a life-long member of the Big Hungry Conservation League, in Carroll County, MS
located in the woods where he spent his childhood.
He served in the US Military as a member of the US Army’s 96th Signal Battalion, serving in
China, Burma and India from 1943 to 1946. Only recently did he share that he was aboard the
HMT Banfora crossing the Mediterranean from Oran, Algeria to Bangladesh at Thanksgiving
1943 when the convoy was attacked by a German radio-controlled aircraft. He and his unit
watched in shock as the HMT Rohna was sunk only 200 yards from his ship, killing more than
He found rewarding connections as a member and volunteer with Mended Hearts, a support
and visitation group for heart surgery patients. Following his own heart surgeries, he gave his
time volunteering and connecting with patients as part of his own recuperation, offering words
of support, compassion and healing.
He found great joy in the time he was able to spend with his grandchildren, Kenneth Ryan
Johnston (and Lexie) of Memphis, TN, Whitney Anne Butler (and Joel) of Arlington, TX, Robert
Tyler Johnston of Chattanooga, TN, Shelby Catherine Hamilton (and Chad) of Chattanooga, TN
and Alexandra Clare Johnston of Santa Clarita, CA. His beloved great-grandchildren are Samuel,
Luke and James Butler and Scarlett Anne and Connett Hamilton.
He is survived by his three sons Kenneth Hal Johnston (and Leigh) of Canton, MS, Robert Wayne
Johnston (and Clare) of Santa Clarita, CA and John Allen Johnston of New Orleans, LA. In
addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by his father, John Curren Johnston, his mother,
Lucretia Evelyn Duke, younger sister, Bettie Lynn Bryant and younger brother, Charles Curren
Johnston, and his great-grandson, Matthew Butler.
Funeral Services will be held at St Matthews United Methodist Church in Madison, MS on
Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 1:00PM. Visitation will be from 12:00PM to 1:00PM and a
graveside service will immediately follow at Lakewood Memorial Park at 6000 Clinton Blvd,
Memorial donations may be made in Hal’s name to St Matthews United Methodist Church or to
the American Heart Association/Mended Hearts or to any charity of personal choice.