Terry Walton Johnstone

Terry Walton Johnstone passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 19, 2019 surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He was born December 20, 1941 in Rutherford, Tennessee to Anna Lou and William Benthel Johnstone. During his teen years the family moved to Iowa where he graduated from Burlington High School in 1959.  After a short career in the dry cleaning business he went to work for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Service and traveled the United States as a land Surveyor.  While surveying the desert land now known as the Glen Canyon-Lake Powell recreational area he met Cathy Dirkmaat.  They married in 1962 and had five children. In 1968 the family moved to the Washington D.C. area and in 1976 moved to La Marque, TX to work for the National Marine Fisheries (NOAA) in Galveston, TX where he retired with over 40 years of government service.  Although Terry and Cathy separated many years later, they remained good friends.  Terry was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many leadership capacities. His greatest joy was his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was always involved in their sporting activities and was known as “Grandpa” to the whole team.  If anyone on the team needed something they knew they could find it in Grandpa’s truck.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents, sister Barbara Ann Wicker and son David Merrill Johnstone.  He is survived by sister, Eunice Faye Kemp (Don) of Sperry, IA; and brother Mike Johnstone (Karen) of Middletown, IA; son, Terry R. Johnstone (Sandra) of Little Elm, TX; daughters, Shelley Johnstone of Page, AZ, Alice Oberholtzer (Gary) of Texas City,  TX, and Kristen Winkel (Joe) of League City, TX and daughter-in-law Trisha Johnstone of League City, TX.  He was loved by 16 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.  He also leaves behind his spouse Diana Taylor Johnstone of Galveston, TX. Terry loved his dogs and was also supporting his children and grandchildren so in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to NacFoster Rescue (https://www.nacfosterrescue.com/donate) or Hannah Pearl Rescue of Arizona (https://www.facebook.com/hannahpearlrescue/).

Services for Terry will be held on Friday, November 29, 2019 from 6PM to 8PM at James Crowder Funeral Home, 401 Texas Ave., La Marque, TX.


  1. I want to express the sadness I feel in the passing away of Uncle Terry, however, there really aren’t any words that would fill his void in the lives of many. Prayers are with my cousins and aunt during this time of grief. Hang onto the memories of your life with him. Love you all Jamie

    Jamie Parker
  2. I would like to be there but I will be in Utah. My heart and thoughts will be with all of you.

    Renee Dirkmaat
  3. Sweet dear Uncle Terry. A true humanitarian and steady guide to his family and friends. Grandma, Grandpa, David and your sweet sister (my Mom) Barbara Jean await you. Have fun catching up and keep shining your guiding light.
    Love you forever and always. Melanie

    melanie wicker
  4. So sorry to hear of Terry’s passing. I remember him as a gentle, pleasant cousin when we lived in Iowa in Ft Madison & his family lived in Burlington. We all liked to visit Tennessee to see our Poppa & Granny Fowler near Kenton. My condolences to his entire family. Love, Jennie Sue ( my mother was Louise, Aunt Cindy, sister to Anna Lou).

    Jennie Emrich Mitchell
  5. I loved visiting with Terry (Dad) when he was at Shelley’s. He helped me build some dog pens and his perfectionist workmanship always amazed me. He saved me from some serious injuries one day while I was trying to break up a dogfight. Without him there, the situation could have been ugly. I will always remember his laugh and his grin. Fly high and free, Terry….I will miss you. Prayers and sympathy for his family.

    Sharon Nelson
  6. So sorry for your loss Shelley .

    Don Null
    • So sorry to hear of your Dads passing. I’ll be thinking about you

      Don Null
  7. Nancy and I send our heartfelt condolences to Terry’s family. Terry and I both worked at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Galveston Laboratory. I appreciated his positive attitude.

    Charles and Nancy Caillouet
  8. We are so sorry for the family’s loss. He always seemed like a kind man. We extend our condolences. Betty and Paul Arnold

    Betty Arnold

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