Fox & Murray Funeral Home and Cremation Services

528 Franklin Street, Ogdensburg, NY


Earle J. Johnston

March 3, 1929February 10, 2020
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Earle J. Johnston, age 90, of the Taylor Road in Heuvelton, NY passed away on Monday evening, February 10, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Calling hours will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the Fox & Murray Funeral Home in Ogdensburg, NY. Funeral services will begin immediately afterward at 1:00 pm at the funeral home with Rev. Rob Schirmer officiating. Entombment will be at Foxwood Memorial Park with military honors.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Lou; two sons: Robert (Eve) Johnston of Boulder, CO and Jeffrey (Phyllis) Johnston of Indian Harbour Beach, FL; two daughters: Barbara (Jim) Fowler of Leesburg, VA and Erin (Bill) Brinson of Churchton, MD; a daughter-in-law, Janet (David) Johnston of Centennial, CO; three step-children Donna Donnelly & her companion William LaFlair of Heuvelton, Amy (Jason) Barney of Lake Placid and Robert (Teri) Witherell of Las Vegas, NV; 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth; son, David Johnston; three brothers: Lyle, Murray and Lauris Johnston; and three sisters: Rose Tremain, Winnie Beckstead, and Lois Gibson.

Earle was born on March 3, 1929 in Madrid, NY, son of the late Robert and Lillie (Barkley) Johnston. He graduated from Heuvelton High School in 1946 and married Elizabeth “Betty” Kelly on May 10, 1952. She predeceased him on July 4, 1999. He married his long-time companion, Mary Lou Trombly Witherell on July 12, 2019.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and later owned and operated Johnston Electric and Maintenance for over 30 years. He was a past president of the Heuvelton Central School Board, a member of the St. Lawrence National Bank Board and the Town of Oswegatchie Planning Board. He was also a member of the Heuvelton Volunteer Fire Department, Heuvelton Men’s Bowling League and Heuvelton AMVETS. He enjoyed bowling, deer hunting, watching Heuvelton high school sports, gardening, making bird houses and mowing his lawn. Earle was also an avid fan of the New York Yankees, Syracuse Men’s Basketball and UConn Women’s Basketball teams.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, US Highway 11, Potsdam, NY 13676 or the Heuvelton Volunteer Fire Department, 95 State Street, Heuvelton, NY 13654. Condolences and fond memories can also be shared at www.foxandmurrayfuneralhome.com.


  • Ronald Bellinger
  • John Bressette
  • Andrew Fowler
  • Michael Fowler
  • Daniel Lake
  • Michael Thornhill


  • Calling Hours Saturday, February 15, 2020
  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 15, 2020


Earle J. Johnston

have a memory or condolence to add?

barbara tayler

February 16, 2020

i want to offer my condolences to mary lou upon the passing of her husband. barbara tayler

Sandi Farina

February 15, 2020

Dear Lou & Family,
We will miss Earle and his sense of humor, his smile and his warm hugs. His family has so many good memories of his annual get togethers and his beautiful gardens will leave a legacy for you all to remember him by. He was indeed a special man with a heart of gold.

Rick & I send our love to you all.

Lisa Gibson Secor

February 15, 2020

So sorry for the loss of your Dad, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather. I remember Uncle Earle's love of gardening and his beautiful flowers. He was a wonderful man and thank you for sharing the photos. Lisa

Alice Perry

February 13, 2020

My sincere sympathy to your family. I have not lived in the Heuvelton area in years but knew all of Earl's family and the Kelly family.

Dick Johnston

February 13, 2020

Saddened to learn of the death of Earle Johnston. As former director of operations for Massena Central School I employed Earle to do a number of projects for the district, and the results were always outstanding. He had great integrity was consistently honest and efficient and always reliable. He was all business and his sober demeanor inspired confidence in his ability to complete difficult projects in a thorough and timely manner. He was proud of his children and at the time had a boy enrolled at Carnegie Institute which impressed me greatly. I also remember his wife who was a great asset to the family business . She was always pleasant and cordial and assisted her husband greatly. Since we shared a common Scottish name, Earle and I compared stories of our heritage and ancestry. My deepest condolences to his entire family. Dick Johnston, Maryville, Tenn.

Elizabeth Carter

February 13, 2020

My sincere condolences to the whole Johnston family. I have fond memories of a few summer weeks spent with my Great Aunt Betty and Uncle Earle and cousins, swimming, playing pool and laughing. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care of one another.
Love, Elizabeth

Jean and David Thornhill

February 13, 2020

Our sympathy and prayers for the Johnston family.
I had many joyful years of bowling experiences and 20 years with an excellent hunting partner at the Irish Hill Hunting Club. Many good memories. He will be sadly missed.

Dawna and mark Larue

February 13, 2020

We are very sorry for your loss. We sure had a few laughs at the bowling alley .may you find comfort in all your memories.

Douglas Daniel and family

February 13, 2020

RIP dear sir ,you were such a kind soul i did not know you well but i know there were few nicer than you ,Hugs to the family of Earle may you all find comfort in the memories you hold in your hearts

Marita Helfen-Looney

February 12, 2020

Mary Lou, my heartfelt condolences to you and the family on Earl's passing. He always spoke with such pride of his family and his gardens.