Eugene "Gene" Johnston, 86, of Elkins, a loving family man and forever a gentleman, passed away on June 12, 2012, in Elkins.
He was born July 27, 1925, at Alexander, and was preceded in death by his parents, William Thomas Johnston and Sarah Ellen Liston Johnston; his wife, Edna Doris Scott Johnston, of Czar; one granddaughter, Andree Sainato; six brothers, Acie, Carl, Charlie, Ollie, William and Albert Johnston; and two sisters, Mae Johnston Vangilder and Nettie Johnston Golden.
As a dedicated member of Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church, he served as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, lay minister and videographer for many years.
He served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. After his military service, Eugene returned to Upshur County and graduated from Buckhannon High School in 1947. He worked as a driver for the Upshur County school system in the late 1940s. He then worked at Dick Benson Lumber Mill, Wilson Esso in Elkins from 1950-1952, Craig Motor Company/Fisher Auto Parts from 1952-1990, and as an agent for Reserve Life Insurance.
A gifted wood craftsman, Eugene enjoyed spending many hours in his workshop creating and repairing items including carved walking canes, a detailed replica of his home place in Alexander (made from memory) and wooden toys. He was also an avid gardener and took pride in growing sustainable produce and sharing it with others. He was a fan of the WVU Mountaineers and the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers.
Eugene was very proud of his family and enjoyed watching them grow and gather together on many occasions. Eugene was fond of his neighbors and was known for his warm smile, sense of humor and wit. He never stopped reading and always had an article or story to share with those who visited him. Ever a music lover, he especially enjoyed bluegrass and gospel.
With his wife, Edna, whom he married on March 11, 1950, at First United Methodist Church in Elkins, he raised four daughters, who survive him: Mary Laurel Goodwin of Buckhannon, Lisa Ann Moody of Elkins, Jill Eugenia Zurbuch of Elkins, and Toni Michelle Sainato of Ohio. He is also survived by: sons-in-law Carl Goodwin, Gregory Moody, Jeffrey Zurbuch and John Sainato; nine grandchildren: Christopher Goodwin and wife, Chrysan, of Lost Creek, Bradley Goodwin of Buckhannon, Denise Moody Spratt and husband, Jedediah, of Buckhannon, Michael Moody and wife, Brittany, of Buckhannon, Samantha Zurbuch of Shepherdstown, Alex Zurbuch of Morgantown, Emily Zurbuch of Elkins, Zachary Sainato of Connecticut, and Ashley Sainato of Ohio; two great-granddaughters: Taylor Spratt of Buckhannon and Halle Moody of Buckhannon; two great-grandsons: Jaxon Spratt of Buckhannon and Gavin Moody of Buckhannon; and two sisters: Ellen Johnston Bunner of Buckhannon and Hazel Johnston Shreve of Virginia.
Friends may call from 6 until 9 p.m. Friday, June 15 at the Tomblyn Funeral Home in Elkins. On Saturday, he will be moved to the Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church in Elkins where a funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m. The Rev. Bill Calhoun will officiate and interment will follow in the Mountain State Memorial Gardens near Gilman. Full military rites will be accorded at the gravesite by members of H.W. Daniels Post 29 American Legion and Tygart Valley Post 3647 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church, 113 First St., Elkins, WV 26241 or Hospice Care In-Patient Unit, 169 Diamond St. Elkins, WV 26241.
The Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for Eugene "Gene" Johnston. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.