Kurt Johnston, 72, of Union City, Ohio passed quietly Saturday October 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM at Hospice of Dayton. He was born January 28, 1939 in Union City, Indiana to the late O.R. and Catherine Curtis Tate Johnston.
Kurt loved to farm which was evident by the way he took care of the land and his animals. He began farming at the age of 9 with his grandfather O.E. Johnston. In high school he performed in horse shows and did some bronco riding. After graduating from Union City West Side in 1957, he attended Purdue University where he received his B.S. degree in Agriculture Economics in 1961. While at Purdue he was a member of the FarmHouse Fraternity and formed many life-long friendships. These friends continue to meet once a year for a reunion. Kurt returned to the farm where he raised Black Angus beef cattle, pigs, corn, hay and oats for straw and his horse. In 1968 Walter Brumbaugh asked Kurt to teach his science classes at Randolph Eastern High School while he was recovering from heart surgery. He enjoyed teaching so he went to Ohio State University where he received his teaching degree in Vocational Agriculture. He taught Vo-Ag at Mississinawa Valley for five years. The highlights of his teaching career were establishing a two-person Vo-Ag department and helping his senior class Ag students to build an airplane hangar for Sam Coppess. In 1974 Kurt left teaching and returned to farming full time. In 1981 he decided to add a dairy operation to the farm. He milked 80 Jersey cows each day and had a herd of 100 cows. When he could no longer get help on the farm, he sold his cows and rented the farm ground. He went to work at Whirlpool building Kitchendaid mixers for five years. When he left Whirlpool, he went to Cincinnati and received his CDL license. He began driving motorhomes and UPS trucks to different dealerships throughout the United States. In 2006 he started driving grain semis for Stone Station Elevator. He was forced to retire when he suffered multiple injuries in a semi-truck accident in March, 2007 while delivering a load of wheat. The greatest challenge to his strength came in February, 2010 when he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. He battled this cancer for 20 months.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, BPO Elks club for over 50 years, and St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus. Kurt had a simple faith. He always said that he communed with God every day when he saw the miracle of a small plant inside of seed become a tall cornstock and the miracle birth of a calf or piglet.
Kurt leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 42 years Karen Lynne Boze, brother-in-law; Ted Boze of U.C., OH, sister-in-laws; Janet Pratt of U.C., OH, Charlotte (Nick) Attenweiler of Tipp City, OH, Kathleen (Tony) Brooks of Paxton, IL, Barbara (Richard) Hartom of Ringoes, NJ, and Patricia (Ivan) Steinke of Ansonia, OH. Nieces and nephews, Jack Boze, Jessica Boze, Thomas Attenweiler, Greg (Megan) Attenweiler, Bryan (Meghan) Brooks, Kourtney Brooks, Jason Hartom, Jack Steinke, Rosemary (Eric) Frey, Brett (Julie) Clark, Wendy (Greg) McDavid. Cousins; Juanita (Harry) Grizzell and Art Tate of Anderson, IN, Curtis (Marlene) Tate of Columbus, OH, and Bonita Rowland of Pekin, IN. One brother Don (Ann) Johnston of Ballston Spa, NY. Nephews; Kurt (Margo) Johnston, Frank (Grace) Johnston, Great niece; Emily Johnston and great nephews; Mark, Paul and Osie Johnston. Also his canine companion Blue.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Sheryl Brinley, mother-in-law and father-in-law Chelsey “Jack” and Anne Marie Snyder Boze, and a cousin Ladonna Tate.
Visitation will be from 3-8 PM Wednesday November 2, 2011 at the Reichard Funeral Home Inc. with a Wake service at 3 PM. Mass will be held at 10 AM Thursday Nov. 3, 2011 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church with one hour of calling prior to services at the church. Father Mike McKinley and Father John Zahn will officiate the service. Memorials to MV FFA Scholarship fund, Rand. Eastern Scholarship fund or the UC Ohio Fire and Rescue with envelopes available at the Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.reichardfh.com