OBITUARY: Ronald “Ronny” Frank Johnston

Ronald "Ronny" Frank Johnston

Mr. Ronald “Ronny” Frank Johnston, age 72, husband of Barbara Johnston, and a resident of Columbia, passed away Monday evening, January 10, 2022, at St. Thomas West Hospital.

A visitation will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Heritage Funeral Home. Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Ronny was born on February 3, 1949, in Bessemer, Alabama, and was the son of the late John Earl Johnston and the late Frances Margaret McAbee Johnston.

He served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and married Barbara Zakary on December 29, 1984. Ronny earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a Master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a second Master’s degree from Freed-Hardeman University.

He worked a total of over forty years in the school system, beginning as a teacher in Alabama where he also coached girls’ volleyball and softball. He was later a teacher at Columbia Central High School for ten years where he coached girls’ soccer. Ronny transferred to Spring Hill High School where he worked a total of ten years; there he coached golf and obtained his degree to become a school counselor. Lastly, he worked five years as the school counselor at Spring Hill Middle School. In his very early years, he worked alongside his father as an electrician. He was a member of First United Methodist Church.

Ronny’s greatest hobby was reading. He had a great sense of humor, and you would most likely always find him wearing a plaid shirt. He loved the outdoors, kayaking on the Buffalo River, mowing the grass on his lot at the river, and taking trips to the beach. He was a wonderful husband to Barbara, father to his son, Randel, and stepfather to Susanne, but his biggest love was his grandchildren, Marvel and Ronin.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Zakary Johnston of Columbia, TN, son, Randel (Molly) Johnston of Columbia, TN, stepchildren, Susanne Rushing of Lancaster, TN, Joni DeVoe of California, Brian (Sue) Rushing of Pennsylvania, brother, Jeff (Donna) Johnston of Alabama, sister, Melissa Ann Townsend of Alabama, grandchildren, Marvel Johnston, Ronin Johnston, numerous step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles.

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