Douglas S. Johnston

February 7, 2012

CLAYTON, N.Y.    Douglas S. Johnston, 69, town of Orleans, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse.

Calling hours will be held 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton. The funeral service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Clayton United Methodist Church with Pastor Donald Briant officiating. Spring burial will be in Omar Cemetery.

Born June 29, 1942, in Mount Holly, N.J., a son of George and Kathleen Ryan Johnston, he grew up on Staten Island, NY. He was active as a youth with the Boy Scouts and the Explorers. He graduated from New Dorp High School and is listed on their permanent honor roll. 

In 1959, Doug was on the New Dorp High School championship football team as a fullback. He attended City College, NYC, where he was a member of the Prussian Rifles, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

He married Bonnie S. Keller on Dec. 21, 1984, in Martinsburg, N.Y.

For 34 years Mr. Johnston taught Practical Science for Indian River Central School's middle school and retired in 2002. Through the years he taught and choreographed dancing for various Indian River student groups, most recently the Waltzing Warriors. He was also a member of the NYS Retired Teachers Assoc.

Doug was a member and avid volunteer for the Clayton United Methodist Church. He served as a trustee, certified Lay Speaker, and Chairman of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee. 
Mr. Johnston, a ballroom dance instructor for 40 years, taught dancing at JCC for 14 years and at the Clayton Opera House. He was a member of both the Cosmopolitan Dance Club, Watertown, and Top Hats Club, Syracuse.

Doug, an avid horseman, was a professional farrier for 15 years and enjoyed riding, training, and showing quarter horses. He was a first degree black belt instructor for American Kang Duk Kwon, Watertown. 

In recent years he trained and competed as part of a two-man rowing team with Joel Walentuk, of Alexandria Bay. Doug was the owner, pilot, and builder of a Safari helicopter and honored as the 2006 Rotorcraft Grand Reserve Champion at the Airventure Oshkosh Air Show.

Besides his wife, Bonnie, he is survived by his son, Scott D. Johnston, West Chester, PA; his daughter, Traci L. Sandberg and her husband, Brian, Nokesville, Va.; two granddaughters, Ivy and Tess Sandberg; 2 stepdaughters, Katie Chapman and husband, John, Castle Rock, CO and Michele Herrmann and husband, Hans, Mississippi State, MS; two step grandchildren, Alex Chapman and Petra Herrmann; two brothers, Michael G. Johnston and wife, Laryssa, Sharpsburg, GA and James Lawrence, Las Vegas, Nev.; 2 sisters, Judy Fiduccia, Saylorsburg, PA and Kathy Casados and husband, Don, Cypress, Calif.; his ex-wife, Carol Neuroth; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations in his name to the Clayton United Methodist Church, 324 John St., Clayton, NY, 13624.

Information provided by Cummings Funeral Service and, Watertown