Retha Fern Johnston

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Retha Fern Johnston, 92, Butler, Mo., died Feb. 26, 2006, at the Bates County Memorial Hospital in Butler. She was born Nov. 20, 1913, in Cedar County, Mo., to Thomas Cleveland Smith and Mamie Ellen Hart Smith. She and Earnest Johnston were married on April 1, 1934, in El Dorado Springs, Mo. They were married for 55 years when he preceded her in death in 1989.

Fern went to school in rural Cedar County. She and her husband lived and farmed in the Metz area. Following their retirement, they moved to Walker. She has lived in Butler the past four years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church at Walker and the Methodist Church in Metz.

Survivors include one brother, Warren Smith, Appleton City, Mo.; two sisters, Alma Caulkins and her husband Neil, Albuquerque, N.M., and Ester Maschewski and her husband Eldon, Albuquerque; two sisters-in-law, Grace Smith and Janis Smith, both of Butler; one brother-in-law, Clifford Gowen, Coffeyville, Okla.; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Earl, Tommy, and Cecil; two sisters, Nova Gowen, Deloris Smith, and twin brother and sister, Lester and Ellen.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, March 1, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, Mo., with the Rev. Richard Davenport officiating. Interment will follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Dederick, Mo. Friends may call now and until the hour of service and the family receives friends 12 p.m., Wednesday directly before the service at the funeral home.

Those who wish may contribute to the Humane Society or to the American Diabetes Association in care of Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada.

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