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Obituaries » Lillian Johnston

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December 8, 1927 - February 8, 2024

Burial Date February 15, 2024

A funeral mass to honor her life will be held at St. Monica Catholic Church, 4408 Westnedge Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008, beginning at 11:30 a.m., on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 10:30 am, one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park South. Memorial contributions may be given to St. Monica Catholic Church or Centrica Rose Arbor Place, c/o the funeral home.

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Age 96, passed away at Centrica Rose Arbor Place on February 8, 2024, surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Kalamazoo, MI, on December 8, 1927, the daughter of the late Sam and Helena (Korzilius) Willie.  Lillian was kind, gentle and loving. Her family and faith were at the center of all that she did, and she leaves behind the legacy of a life well lived. On March 1, 1946, she married the love of her life, Lee Johnston Jr. who preceded her in passing on June 23, 2006. Together they made their home in Kalamazoo on Parker Avenue where they remained for life. Lillian loved children and was blessed with a large family. She worked hard at home providing stability, love and laughter for her family. Her heart and her home were always open. Later in life she began to be blessed with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She was an involved grandmother who was a shining example to the children. She loved family gatherings and was happiest when those she loved were gathered nearby. Lillian was a stellar athlete and loved playing a pick-up game of volleyball or softball. At one time she participated in the Senior Olympics for softball and has a medal recognizing her efforts. She had a strong faith and was a founding member of St. Monica’s Catholic Church. Lillian was the foundation of her family, and she will be missed by all who loved her. She is survived by her children, Mark (Rose) Johnston, Cherie (Ron) Fulton, Mike (Sandie) Johnston, Jeanne (Jerry) DeVisser, Kathy (Larry) Orr, Martha (Dave) Smith, Matt (Carolyn) Johnston, Denise Runge, Monica VandeWerken, Nathan (Becky) Johnston, Vincent Johnston, Mary (George) Wright, Phyllis (Robert) Brewster, Julia Williams, Joan (Don) Haynes; many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; extended nieces, nephews and family. She was also preceded in passing by a son, James Johnston; grandson, Richard Johnston; granddaughters, Jaime Johnston and Kasey (Wright) DeBat; great-granddaughter, Kendal Johnston; son-in-law, Joe Runge; brothers, Ray Willie, Al Willie, Richard Willie and Edwin Willie; sisters, Benita Daubenspeck and Doris Willie.