Gary E. Johnston

Gary E. Johnston

CWO2 USN (Ret)

February 9, 1951 ~ December 13, 2023

Age 72

Gary Edward Johnston was born in Missoula, Montana on February 9, 1951. Gary lived in New Orleans and Houma, Louisiana, and attended school there. At age 15, he moved to Montana and lived with his Aunt Janet and Uncle Rich. They became like parents to him. He came to know the Lord while in their home and was baptized at the age of 18. He graduated from Manhattan High School in Montana in 1970. He entered the Navy on January 5, 1971. He received the hon-or of being “Outstanding Recruit” while in training. He served most of his first four years in Hawaii.

He met Marilyn Lavonne Martin in the summer of 1972 at Yellowstone Bible Camp in Bozeman, MT. They were married on February 14, 1975. Gary’s military career took the family to many places. He served in Cornwall, England, Ala-bama, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and the Philippines. Some of these locations he served at more than one time, and having to leave these communities was difficult, and the reunions were precious. His Naval expertise is in Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Deep Sea Diver. Two highlights of his military career included diving for the wreckage following the Challenger disaster and securing the White House for George Bush’s inauguration.

He retired from the Navy January 1, 1992, as a CWO2. He spent 13 months after retirement working for a civilian company clearing thousands of landmines and other hazardous munitions from the country of Kuwait following the Persian Gulf War. After his military career, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education and taught 4th grade for 20 years.

Gary was a long-time member of the Church of Christ and has served by teach-ing Bible classes, preaching, leading Bible camps, and serving as an elder. He was always helping others, and had a true servant’s heart. Gary loved playing Santa at Christmas time. He brought smiles and happy memories to many children for over 20 years.

Gary died on December 13, 2023, in Omaha, NE with his family by his side.
Gary was preceded in death by father Alvin Johnston and mother Hilda Bourg; brothers James Johnston, William Johnston, and Larry Viola Johnston; aunt and uncle Janet and Rich Reynolds.

Survived by wife of 48 years Marilyn; sons Garin Johnston (Leanna), Bryan Johnston (Leah), and Travis Johnston (Meredith); daughter Brittany Love Bonda (Steven); grandchildren Payden, Megan, Finnley, Landry, Everleigh, and Mariel; brothers Wayne White and John Johnston; sisters Florence Wayne, Patricia Ma-honey, Jeannie Litolff (Ed), and Susan Primack Johnston; sister-in-law Rosalie Johnston; many aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Funeral Service: December 17, 2023, 3:00 p.m., Bellevue Church of Christ, 2311 Madison Street, Bellevue, NE 68005

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to the Mountain States Children’s Home, 14780 N 107th St, Longmont, CO 80504, or the Bellevue Church of Christ Children’s Ministry.

In order to view the livestream of this service, please click the link below.


  • Amber R Hayden Posted December 14, 2023 8:51 pm

    Rest in peace dear brother in Christ, you will be deeply missed

  • Neil and Lori Cadwell Posted December 15, 2023 3:06 pm

    You will be greatly missed uncle Gary. We will continue to pray for Aunt Marilyn and your family💔😢

  • Mark & Jill Brazle Posted December 15, 2023 3:11 pm

    I am so thankful for you Gary and Marilyn for the way you have led in unmistakable and incredible ways!! You will be missed brother! Praying for your whole family! Thank you for being our constant cheerleader and encourager!!

  • Rohn Ratliff Posted December 15, 2023 4:01 pm

    My thoughts and prayers to all of you and all of our love. My heart hurts for you all and for myself, but I know that Gary is with the savior and is so happy. I always thought of Gary like a second father to me and I will always cherish the time he spent mentoring me and helping me become a better person. I love you all.!!

  • Marie & Chad Johnson Posted December 15, 2023 10:43 pm

    He will be missed! A great servant of Christ! He always did so much for the Sidney Church youth group and Montana YBC! He was always an encourager to me and presented me with a Bible when I graduated from HS. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. May you rest in peace knowing that he is with our Heavenly Father. ((Hugs))

  • Julie (Keller) Tignor Posted December 17, 2023 8:12 am

    I’m thankful for Gary and the positive influence he had on my young life and the support and encouragement he continued to show me and my family in my adult life. Gary was willing to lead and teach. He treated children with respect and love and took time to listen and teach us. Us children grew up and he (and Marilyn!) continued to encourage and support me and my family as we serve overseas. I’m grateful for his witness and his example and his willingness to serve, teach, lead songs, and even teach Bible classes to unruly junior high students 😉 I remember him wearing a Promise Keeper hat and I remember him as a strong man who wasn’t afraid to show his love for God or his love to his family. I’ve thought a lot about the impact he had on my life in all the “small” ways he was faithful. His life made a difference and God used him for His glory. I’m grateful that I have been blessed by His faithfulness.

  • Jamesena Moore Posted December 17, 2023 1:22 pm

    Rest in peace, Gary. Thanks for all the love and you brought to others. You were a servant leader. You will be missed.

  • Martha Krueger Posted December 18, 2023 6:46 am

    Gary was such a kind and loving spirit. Always there to help in any way. He will be missed by so many! My thoughts, and prayers to Marilyn and the whole family during this most difficult time.

  • Jean Litolff Posted December 18, 2023 12:27 pm

    While deciding what to say about my brother Gary I decided that one word can not do, Gary wore many hats & fulfilled many good deeds in his life time & I was asked to do a paragraph which is impossible for me.
    Gary impressed many by his actions & the word ACTIONS = LOVE / LOVE is an ACTION, he mastered that with all he did. Gary lived by & accomplished his love of family, of life & others.
    Gary I am blessed having you as my brother & for teaching many by example. You will always be a part of our lives through conversations & the actions in our own walk.
    YOU will forever be a void in my personal walk without you here❤️❤️❤️

  • Garin Johnston Posted December 19, 2023 2:34 pm

    My dad gave me his blessing. He told me he loves me, he is proud of me, and have what it takes to be a husband and father. My dad is a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so proud that I am his son. I wish I had more time with him. He is at peace with his own band of brothers: Richard Reynolds, Harold Martin, Duane Martin, Don Kelly, Buck Walker, and Mark Patterson. He is a man who really lived for others. Ephesians 2:10

  • Sharon Gene schmitx Posted December 19, 2023 6:14 pm

    Sending prayers and hugs to Marilyn and family. Gary was a wonderful man with a great heart for people and God. I’m sure you all will greatly miss him but take comfort in his special reward which I’m sure awaited him. Blessings to all of you.

  • ann madden Posted December 20, 2023 9:36 am

    Thinking of you and your loved ones during this time. Sorry for your loss.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *